Merkley: Paris Deal Represents a Breakthrough Moment for Climate Change

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after 196 nations announced an international agreement to take on climate change at the conclusion of talks that have been ongoing in Paris.

Last weekend, Merkley traveled to Paris as part of a delegation of ten U.S. Senators to take part in the talks. As part of the delegation, Merkley led a bilateral meeting with India, as well as meeting with negotiators, dignitaries, nonprofit groups, and counterparts from other nations.

“Today’s agreement represents a breakthrough moment in the international fight to take on climate change. While this deal is by no means the end of the work we must do, having the global community come together around a shared vision of action is nonetheless a tremendous milestone on the path to averting climate catastrophe. Americans should be proud of our nation’s leadership in helping forge this deal, and they should also know that science deniers in Congress cannot stop this agreement from moving forward.

“This deal also contains several key provisions that will help this international momentum carry forward into further action. Built into the agreement is a process that will encourage countries to revisit, and hopefully ramp up, each of their individual commitments to tackle their own carbon pollution every 5 years. 

“Moving forward, it’s imperative that we partner with other developed nations to finance clean energy options to bring electricity to those who lack it, and to ramp up investment in research and development to keep driving down the cost of clean energy and to develop affordable energy storage. This successful negotiation in Paris should only strengthen our resolve to work harder to ensure our children and grandchildren have a habitable planet to call home.”