CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders said an accord presented to delegates on Saturday at an international climate summit near Paris “goes nowhere near far enough” to commit nations to lower planet-warming carbon emissions.
“While this is a step forward it goes nowhere near far enough. The planet is in crisis. We need bold action in the very near future and this does not provide that,” said Sanders.
“In the United States we have a Republican Party which is much more interested in contributions from the fossil fuel industry than they care about the future of the planet. That is true all over the globe. We’ve got to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and fight for national and international legislation that transforms our energy system away from fossil fuel as quickly as possible.”
Sanders on Thursday introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate which would cut U.S. carbon pollution by 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels. The measure would put a price on fossil fuels by imposing a tax on carbon pollution. It also would double the number of Americans working in clean-energy jobs.
Underscoring the urgency for bold action, Sanders said this year is on track to be the hottest on record and scientists are already predicting 2016 will be even hotter. Moreover, 13 of the 15 hottest years ever recorded have all occurred since 2000. The impact already is clear from shrinking ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica to warming oceans and rising sea levels threatening communities around the world.
Environmentalists have praised Sanders’ plan as the boldest put forward by any candidate running for president.
Watch Sanders speak about climate change in Iowa »