Boston (November 1, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) are calling on United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft to recuse herself from participating in any way from U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. Ambassador Craft’s financial disclosures show she has more than $63 million invested in oil, gas, and coal assets, as well as substantial rights to coal mining royalties. During Ambassador Craft’s nomination hearing at the Foreign Relations Committee in May, Senator Markey secured a commitment from Craft to recuse herself from matters involving “coal and or fossil fuels.” An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report stated that to prevent warming above 1.5 degrees Celsius, a goal of the Paris climate agreement, all nations need to phase down coal as a source of energy.
November 4 is the first day permitted under the Paris climate agreement’s rules when the United States can formally request an exit. The withdrawal process would take one year.
“Given your extensive family ties to the coal industry, and given that decisions about climate inherently involve decisions about the future of coal, we urge you to agree to recuse yourself from any actions to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement,” write the Senators in their letter. “
A copy of the Senators’ letter can be found HERE.
In May, Senators Markey, Merkley, and Whitehouse wrote to Craft regarding her views on international climate policy and her potential conflicts of interest.