Congressman Alan Lowenthal today issued the following statement regarding the COP-21 Paris Climate Summit agreement:
"When the history of our generation’s response to climate change is fully written, 2015 will be a major milestone.
"This year the United States announced groundbreaking cooperation statements with China, India, and Brazil to limit greenhouse gas emissions, develop clean energy, and protect rainforests from deforestation.
"Pope Francis issued his historic encyclical, ‘Laudato Si,’ which was emblematic of a larger faith community push to care for the earth by acting to reduce the drivers of climate damage and assist vulnerable communities in adapting to a changing world.
"The Obama administration finalized the Clean Power Plan to curb emissions from the power sector, the most significant federal action the Unites States has taken to date.
"And now, to finish out this already momentous year, more than 190 countries, both rich and poor, and representing 96 percent of global emissions, have come together in agreement on an ambitious framework to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate.
"Make no mistake -- the Paris Climate Summit is not only historic, it is a game-changer.
"The Paris agreement is a loud signal that the world is united in moving forward on a new, cleaner path to a safer and more secure, common home.
"It also signals a universal understanding among these nations that the sunset of the unconstrained fossil fuel age is at hand and the age of a cleaner global economy is truly dawning.
"We have finally moved past the question of if we are going to do something, and shifted to how to implement a solution. It is a global acknowledgement that denial and delay are no longer acceptable, and the only way forward is through cooperation and action.
"Paris is only the beginning. The road ahead will require vision and leadership. As chair of the House Safe Climate Caucus, I believe Congress should embrace this opportunity and I am working across the aisle to advance the dialogue from the denial of yesterday to the solutions of tomorrow.
“We have taken the first major steps. Now the hard work truly begins."