Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Congressman Garamendi Pleased to See Groundbreaking Climate Change Accord between U.S. & China

November 13, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Nearly 20 years ago, as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Interior Department, John Garamendi helped draft America’s position during the Kyoto Protocol climate change negotiations. Today, Congressman Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) is pleased to see America move forward with a groundbreaking climate change agreement between the world’s two leading contributors of greenhouse gas emissions: the United States and China.

Under the accord, the United States will set a new target to cut net greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. At the same time, China will aim for targets to peak CO2 emissions around 2030, with the intention to try to peak early, and to increase the non-fossil fuel share of all energy to around 20 percent by 2030. Together, the U.S. and China account for more than one third of global greenhouse gas emissions.

“We need decisive action from our lawmakers to seriously address the climate crisis. Presently, far too many lawmakers willfully ignore the overwhelming scientific consensus. They are making the planet more dangerous for all of humanity,” Congressman Garamendi said. “Today’s announcement of a climate change accord between the United States and China, the world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters, is an important but incomplete step forward.”

“We must accept the reality that through our inaction, we are creating a planet with more extreme weather, more volatile food production, more dangerous infectious diseases, rising seas levels, and more scarce freshwater supplies,” Garamendi added. “We should embrace the need for action as a moment to build the middle class through robust investments in American-made clean energy and conservation technologies and research, preparing our economy for the challenges of the future. What we can’t do is pretend the problem doesn’t exist.”

The new U.S. goal will double the pace of carbon pollution reduction from 1.2 percent per year on average during the 2005-2020 period to 2.3-2.8 percent per year on average between 2020 and 2025. The joint announcement marks the first time China has agreed to peak its CO2 emissions. More information on the accord is available here.

California’s 3rd District, which Congressman Garamendi represents, is an agricultural district that has been hard hit by the worst drought on record in California. While the drought has been driven by a lack of precipitation, the rapid melting of the Sierra snowpack, California’s largest freshwater reserve, has made the problem much worse. Climate change will only make the Sierra snowpack less reliable and available in the years to come, putting thousands of 3rd District jobs and billions of dollars of economic output at risk.

The 3rd District is also a leader in clean energy development, epitomized by the wind turbine farm in Rio Vista and cutting-edge environmental research at UC Davis in transportation, lighting, agriculture, and other areas.

Congressman Garamendi has long been focused on climate science and clean energy. As a State Legislator, he authored the first state alternative energy tax credit in America. He is the author of H.R. 1524, the Make It In America: Create Clean Energy Manufacturing Jobs in America Act, which would create U.S. jobs by ensuring that taxpayer dollars are spent on American-made renewable energy systems, including solar, wind, geothermal, and biofuels. Phased over a four year period, the bill requires the federal government and any state government buying renewable technologies with federal funds to purchase renewable sources of energy grown, produced, or manufactured with 85 percent American content.