Letter Text (PDF)

Washington (November 30, 2023) – As the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) begins in Dubai, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chair of the Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) today led 32 of their colleagues in a letter to President Joe Biden urging the Administration to support stronger national climate action commitments to the Paris climate agreement, a negotiated outcome for a full phase-out of fossil fuels, and transparency and stronger standards to prevent public financing for international fossil fuel projects. The lawmakers encouraged the Biden administration to increase support for clean energy financing and climate resiliency efforts in developing nations and emerging markets. They also urged the Administration to center the priorities of developing nations in operationalizing a fund for global losses and damages caused by climate change, which is slated for a vote during the conference.

In March, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that the projected lifetime emissions from existing fossil fuel infrastructure will exceed the 1.5°C emissions reduction pathway outlined in the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Despite the need for global action, in 2022, global fossil fuel subsidies rose to a record level of $7 trillion. The lawmakers urged President Biden to use all available tools and research, including the first-ever Global Stocktake, to promote and accelerate global progress toward meeting the Paris climate agreement target of holding the global average temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius. 

In their letter to President Biden, the lawmakers wrote, “As the United States prepares to attend the upcoming 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), we encourage you to strengthen the U.S. position in the international fight against the climate crisis. The passage of the historic Inflation Reduction Act, which represents a quarter of all global clean energy investments since 2020, puts the United States in a position to be a global clean energy leader.”

The lawmakers continued, “In order to remain on target for a livable future, we urge the Administration to support the move toward an extensive, expedient, and equitable phase-out of fossil fuel production and consumption. A full phase-out should be inclusive of coal, oil, and fossil gas, and led by the wealthiest and highest-emitting countries, including short-term phase-down goals and climate financing to assist developing countries in executing a clean energy transition.”

Cosigners in the Senate include Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Cosigners in the House include Representatives Alma Adams (NC-12), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Greg Casar (TX-35), Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Robert Garcia (CA-42), Raúl Grijalva (AZ-07), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Henry Johnson (GA-04), Barbara Lee (CA-11), Summer Lee (PA-12), Ted Lieu (CA-36), James McGovern (MA-02), Grace Meng (NY-06), Kevin Mullin (CA-15), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Eleanor Norton (D-DC), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Janice Schakowsky (IL-09), Melanie Stansbury (NM-01), Shri Thanedar (MI-13), Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), and Nydia Velázquez (NY-07).