This is a historic moment for climate action and the end of a dark era, as the House has passed landmark bipartisan legislation to tackle the climate crisis. The Climate Action Now Act would require the United States to cut emissions causing climate change at the rate originally set by the Paris Agreement, from which President Trump had announced his intention to withdraw the United States two years ago. The legislation marks the first climate vote in the House in the last decade and is the first climate bill to pass in either chamber of Congress over that same period. Its passage shows that House leadership is ready to make climate action a priority.
The climate crisis is real and urgent. Since Congress last took up this issue, our nation and the world have begun to see the impacts of climate change firsthand. The four hottest years on record have all occurred in the last five years. The frequency of extreme weather events that end up costing at least $1 billion has increased, with three of the four years with these exorbitantly damaging events occurring in the last decade. The United States has had two disasters each costing more than $1 billion already this year that were exacerbated by climate change. These events were flooding in the Midwest and severe storms in that same region.This article was originally published in The Hill.