Harlem’s Espaillat, Bowman Urge Equitable U.S. Commitment To Address Global Climate Crisis

April 20, 2021

Representatives Adriano Espaillat and Jamaal Bowman released the following statement on their letter to President Biden and administration officials.

The letter is urging for an ambitious and equitable commitment from the United States in efforts to address the climate crisis domestically and internationally.

“Under the stewardship of President Biden, this is an opportunity for the United States to newly establish a leadership position in ongoing climate discussions and ensure that our national action is equitable to our overall contribution to the global crisis,” said Rep. Espaillat. “The United States is the largest historic polluter contributing to the climate crisis and by committing a fair share to meet our climate goals, we are leading by example to reduce emissions as well as address racial and economic environmental injustices that continue to impact communities of color and vulnerable populations around the world. A robust and fair NDC reaffirms our return to the Paris Agreement and solidifies U.S. leadership in addressing the global climate crisis.”

“As the richest country in the world, and the nation most responsible for carbon emissions since the industrial revolution, the United States has a unique and profound responsibility to lead the global energy transition,” said Rep. Bowman. “If we rise to the occasion and make an equitable emissions reduction pledge under the Paris Agreement, we can not only secure a safe and healthy future for our own children and families — we can fulfill our responsibility to the global community. I look forward to working with the White House on this issue and pursuing racial, economic, and climate justice for all.”

“By committing the U.S. to do its fair share of the global climate effort at the upcoming Climate Leaders Summit, President Biden can show the world that his deep concern for environmental justice and frontline communities extend beyond U.S. borders. A fair share that prioritizes the safety and well-being of the most vulnerable in both the U.S. and in developing countries requires the U.S. to cut domestic emissions 70% from 2005 levels by 2030 and provide international finance to enable the equivalent of an additional 125% reductions in developing countries. This is the yardstick by which we will measure President Biden’s soon-to-be-unveiled Nationally Determined Contribution,” said Karen Orenstein, Director, Climate and Energy Program, Friends of the Earth U.S.

“The Biden administration has made environmental justice a priority, and this care and concern for the well-being of historically oppressed people must extend globally as well. That means putting the United States on track for the most ambitious emissions cuts possible through a just transition of our own economy and providing finance for climate action internationally. The U.S. fair share of climate finance to support mitigation, adaptation, and addressing loss & damage in poorer countries is extremely large; we call on the administration to commit to $800 billion between now and 2030 as a good-faith down payment towards this fair share. For vulnerable frontline communities around the world, whether or not the United States does its fair share of climate action is literally a matter of life or death,” said Niranjali Amerasinghe, Executive Director, ActionAid USA.

“The U.S. is – by significant measure – the world’s largest historical carbon emitter and the wealthiest nation, yet has failed to meet global financial commitments to supporting the adaptation and mitigation needs of countries already on the frontlines of climate impacts. Our role in this crisis is outsized, and our role in its solution must be as well. The U.S. NDC must reflect a fair share of ambition, as well as a strong commitment to human rights and gender equality, in order to play our part in global efforts,” said Bridget Burns, Director, Women’s Environment & Development Organization (WEDO).

This letter is supported by nearly 70 environmental organizations and advocates. Click here to view the full list.

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