Legislation Follows Trump's Decision to Withdraw from Paris Agreement
(Trenton, NJ) -- Legislation Assembly Democrats Andrew Zwicker, Elizabeth Muoio, John McKeon, Speaker Vincent Prieto, James Kennedy, Tim Eustace, Benjie Wimberly and Annette Chaparro sponsored to urge the governor to join a multi-state climate change coalition formed in response to President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord gained approval Thursday in the New Jersey General Assembly.
The resolution (AR-264) urges the governor to join the United States Climate Alliance. Twelve states and Puerto Rico have joined the bipartisan alliance aimed at adhering to the conditions of the Paris Agreement since June 1, when Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the global climate change pact. Because the Paris Accord is an international agreement, individual states cannot join, but they can agree to adhere to its standards independently.
"The anti-science, anti-fact policies of the Trump Administration resulted in a decision that will have deleterious effects on the Earth, our children's future and our economy if we do not stand up for evidence-based policy-making," said Zwicker (D-Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset). "With this resolution, we urge Gov. Christie to join a growing number of states, dozens of mayors and more than 100 businesses in fundamental opposition to President Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement."
"When nearly 200 countries around the globe adopted the Paris Agreement, they acknowledged that climate change is one of the world's greatest challenges and that we have a collective responsibility to respond in order to save the planet," said Muoio (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). "Joining the Climate Alliance would be a declaration that, regardless of what happens at the White House, New Jersey is committed to those ideals."
"President Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Accord was a deliberate decision to choose political expediency over science and reason," said McKeon (D-Morris/Essex), vice-chair of the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee. "The Climate Alliance is working not only to continue the fight against climate change but also to reassert the nation's position as a global leader when it comes to one of the most pressing matters of our time."
"Only three countries in the world are refusing to participate in a landmark effort to save the planet, and it is nothing short of a shame that the United States of America is among them," said Prieto (D-Bergen/Hudson). "The president's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement does not represent the views of the majority of Americans, and it most certainly does not represent the views of the majority of New Jersey residents. For the sake of our state, the nation and the entire world, New Jersey must join the United States Climate Alliance."
"Since the year 2000, we've had 16 of the hottest years in history, yet President Trump ignored scientific evidence and chose to endanger both the planet and the nation's status as a global leader by withdrawing from the Paris Agreement," said Kennedy (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). "New Jersey has to join the Climate Alliance, because - regardless of whether you live in Paris or Pittsburgh or Plainfield - climate change is a global problem that requires a united global response."
"New Jersey has a history of leadership when it comes to the environment. If ever there were a time to stand up and proclaim our commitment to combatting climate change, it is now," said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic), chair of the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee. "Becoming part of the Climate Alliance would be a signal to the world that the state of New Jersey remains steadfast in the fight against climate change."
"President Trump said he was withdrawing from a monumental effort to respond to climate change because he 'was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.' Well, the people of Paterson - where residents with asthma represent two-thirds of Passaic County's asthma-related emergency department visits - deserve better," said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). "Climate change and environmental injustice are inextricably linked. Members of the Climate Alliance, like the people of New Jersey, understand that connection."
"Top scientists and military officials have concluded that climate change is a threat to our planet and to our national security. We cannot take their warnings lightly," said Chaparro (D-Hudson). "The president, unfortunately, has failed to lead on this issue, which means New Jersey now has to double down when it comes to standing up for the environment."
The resolution gained approval 51-17-6 from the Assembly.