February 11, 2020

Duckworth, Durbin Introduce Legislation To Achieve Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions By No Later Than 2050


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) and 30 other Senators in introducing The Clean Economy Act, legislation that would put the United States on a path to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050. The bill heeds the call for bold climate action and at the same time boosts American competitiveness, promotes healthier frontline communities, and fosters a growing economy that works for everyone. This net-zero legislation is supported collectively by major environmental groups, business groups, and organized labor.

“The Clean Economy Act calls for a bold strategy to address climate change by setting America on an aggressive, yet achievable, path to meet net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050. The bill empowers the EPA to use its existing authorities to promote healthier communities.  If we want to give our kids and grandkids a livable planet, we must have the determination to seriously reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Durbin.

“The climate crisis is a dangerous and growing threat not just to our environment, but also to our economy, public health and national security,” said Duckworth. “As temperatures continue to rise, there’s not a moment to lose—we need to take action now to curb climate change before it’s too late. I’m proud to join my colleagues to introduce the Clean Economy Act, which would set this nation on an ambitious path to meet net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 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 yet substantial enough to reach that temperature goal.

By providing clear direction from Congress, 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. 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.

Joining Durbin, Duckworth, and Carper in introducing today’s legislation also include: U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Durbin spoke on the introduction of the Clean Economy Act today at a press conference, along with Senator Carper. Video of Durbin’s remarks at the press conference is available here. And footage of Durbin’s remarks at the press conference is available here for TV Stations.

For full text of the bill is available here. Summary of the legislation and full list of supporters are available here.