WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement Wednesday after the European Union unanimously passed a resolution committing its member states to the Paris Agreement. The first entry into force threshold of at least 55 parties officially joining the agreement was met in September. The second entry into force threshold of parties totaling at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions was met today after the E.U. and seven Member States submitted their instruments for ratification at the United Nations:
“Climate change represents a grave existential threat to life as we know it on Earth and we are seeing the effects of global climate change today. As those changes become more apparent each year and threaten more lives and communities around the world, it has become increasingly obvious that we cannot waste any more time. We need solutions.
“I am proud that the United States along with 63 other parties, including China, India, Brazil, Mexico, and now the European Union, have acted swiftly to bring the historic Paris Agreement, the world’s most significant global cooperative effort to combat climate change, into force in less than a year’s time from when the deal was reached last December at COP21. I will do all I can to ensure the United States fulfills its obligations and serves as an example to every nation of what is possible when we put our science, leadership, and ingenuity to work on behalf of humanity.
“When I was in Paris last year, the sense of urgency and optimism among the gathered stakeholders was incredible. I’m therefore not surprised that the strong commitment to action in Paris has been sustained and acted upon. Leaders and citizens alike know how much is at stake, and I am hopeful even more countries will soon formally enter into the agreement.
“Now the hard work of implementing the Paris Agreement must begin in earnest, and COP22 in Marrakech signifies the first great opportunity for implementing the roadmap towards achieving its important goals. I am firmly committed to realizing the United States’ commitment to the Paris Agreement, to advancing our cooperation with our global partners, and achieving a bright, safe, healthy, and clean energy future for Maryland, the United States, and the world over.”