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Senators Introduce Bill to Achieve Net-Zero U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today joined with Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) and 31 senators to introduce the Clean Economy Act, a bill to put the United States on a path to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050.

The world’s leading scientists have warned that humanity must limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. According to the United Nations annual Emissions Gap Report released last month, collective global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not sufficient to reach that goal.

The Clean Economy Act heeds the call for bold climate action and would boost American competitiveness, promote healthier frontline communities and foster a growing economy that works for everyone. The bill directs the Environmental Protection Agency to use existing authorities to put our country on a pathway to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“Climate change is real and we can’t afford to do nothing,” Senator Feinstein said. “The Clean Economy Act makes smart investments to reduce emissions and strengthen our economy. In California, we’re ahead of schedule to meet the ambitious goal of 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045. At the same time, our economy has grown to be the fifth largest in the world. That’s proof positive that fighting climate change supports a strong economy.”

“This legislation would move our country to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions while also empowering American workers and uplifting our most vulnerable communities,” Senator Carper said. “Climate change is the greatest and gravest threat to our planet. We can overcome the climate crisis, but to do that, we need all hands on deck – and we need to right the ship. The Clean Economy Act is one of the quickest ways we can jumpstart government-wide climate action. By using tools already at EPA’s disposal – tools that have been used under this administration to increase global warming pollution instead of decreasing it – we can take on the greatest threat to our planet in a way that grows our economy, supports a strong labor workforce and protects frontline communities.”

The Clean Economy Act mandates EPA and other federal agencies to use authorities and tools already available to them to rapidly achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions while fostering a stronger, fairer economy for all Americans.

Any plan developed by the EPA must achieve rapid reductions at minimal costs, prioritize public health and support a strong labor workforce. The EPA is also required to build upon existing state, local and private climate programs and set greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for 2025, 2030 and 2040. Other federal agencies would be required to do their part to help the nation meet the net-zero goal and help enhance America’s global competitiveness through investments in research and development, innovation and equitable access to worker training.

In addition to Senators Carper and Feinstein, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore).

This net-zero legislation is supported collectively by major environmental groups, business groups and organized labor, including the United Steelworkers, Utility Workers Union of America, Service Employees International Union, American Federation of Teachers, American Rivers, BlueGreen Alliance, Center for American Progress, Clean Water Action, Climate Reality Project, Defend Our Future, Earthjustice, Environment America, Environmental Defense Fund, Green the Church, Hispanic Access Foundation, Interfaith Power & Light, League of Conservation Voters, Moms Clean Air Force, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Trust for Public Land, Union of Concerned Scientists, Voices for Progress, Wilderness Society, World Wildlife Fund, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, American Lung Association, American Public Health Association, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies and DSM.

A summary of the legislation can be found HERE.

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