Murkowski Says Action On Climate Change Must be Global

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today stressed that action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must be international in scope to truly address climate change.

“Climate change mitigation must be a global effort to be effective, but progress on the international front has been slow and difficult,” Murkowski said at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the international aspects of climate change. “Those who assume that others will follow if America acts first are ignoring that our actions on civil rights, worker protections and environmental stewardship have often failed to inspire similar progress in many other nations.”

Murkowski, the top Republican on the Energy Committee, remains committed to working toward climate change legislation, but cautioned that any solution must not harm the economy or put the United States at a competitive disadvantage with countries whose emissions remain unchecked.

“Congress shouldn’t try to pass just any bill to prove that we’re serious about climate change,” she said. “Until we show the world that it’s possible to reduce emissions and maintain economic growth, I believe it will remain difficult to secure the international commitments that matter most in this effort.”

While industrialized countries have historically been the largest producers of greenhouse gases, their emissions are projected to increase slowly or, in some cases, decline in the coming years. By contrast, developing nations now account for nearly all growth in emissions, and are expected to emit 73 percent more than industrialized countries by 2030.

“Climate change is, quite clearly, a global challenge that demands nothing short of a global solution,” Murkowski said. “As focused as our committee has been on the nuts and bolts of domestic policy, we can’t forget that our actions will make little difference unless the rest of the world is working with us.”

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