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Greta Thunberg urges House panel to ‘listen to and act on the science’ at US climate hearing – live Greta Thunberg urges House panel to ‘listen to and act on the science’ at US climate hearing – live
(32 minutes later)
House subcommittee holds hearing on fossil fuels with climate activist as Biden says at summit: ‘No nation can solve this crisis on our own’House subcommittee holds hearing on fossil fuels with climate activist as Biden says at summit: ‘No nation can solve this crisis on our own’
House speaker Nancy Pelosi emphasized the importance of passing the DC statehood bill during her weekly press conference this morning.
The Democratic speaker said DC statehood is “in her DNA,” noting her father served as the chair of the District of Columbia appropriations subcommittee.
Pelosi shared a photo of her father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr, with Eleanor Roosevelt during his first hearing as chairman of the DC appropriations subcommittee.
The speaker noted her father was known as “the unofficial mayor of Washington” because of the amount of power he held over DC as the subcommittee chairman.
“He did not support that. He was all for home rule and what would come after that,” Pelosi said.
The House oversight subcommittee on environment is currently taking a short break in its hearing on fossil fuel subsidies to address some technical difficulties.The House oversight subcommittee on environment is currently taking a short break in its hearing on fossil fuel subsidies to address some technical difficulties.
Meanwhile, the House has started voting on the bill to make DC the 51st US state, which is expected to pass.Meanwhile, the House has started voting on the bill to make DC the 51st US state, which is expected to pass.
The blog will have more updates on the hearing and the vote coming up, so stay tuned.The blog will have more updates on the hearing and the vote coming up, so stay tuned.
Greta Thunberg emphasized that her generation will take action to confront climate change if those currently in power refuse to do so.Greta Thunberg emphasized that her generation will take action to confront climate change if those currently in power refuse to do so.
The 18-year-old activist said lawmakers will have to answer to their children if they do not take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as by ending federal subsidies for fossil fuels.The 18-year-old activist said lawmakers will have to answer to their children if they do not take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as by ending federal subsidies for fossil fuels.
“Unlike you, my generation will not give up without a fight,” Thunberg said. “And to be honest, I don’t believe for a second that you will actually do this.”“Unlike you, my generation will not give up without a fight,” Thunberg said. “And to be honest, I don’t believe for a second that you will actually do this.”
She added, “We, the young people, are the ones who are going to write about you in the history books. We are the ones who get to decide how you will be remembered. So my advice for you is to choose wisely.”She added, “We, the young people, are the ones who are going to write about you in the history books. We are the ones who get to decide how you will be remembered. So my advice for you is to choose wisely.”
Greta Thunberg also warned the House members of the oversight subcommittee that they will not always be able to escape scrutiny for the US climate change response.Greta Thunberg also warned the House members of the oversight subcommittee that they will not always be able to escape scrutiny for the US climate change response.
“How long do you honestly believe that people in power like you will get away with it?” the climate activist said in her opening remarks to the subcommittee.“How long do you honestly believe that people in power like you will get away with it?” the climate activist said in her opening remarks to the subcommittee.
“How long do you think you can continue to ignore the climate crisis, the global aspect of equity and historic emissions, without being held accountable?”“How long do you think you can continue to ignore the climate crisis, the global aspect of equity and historic emissions, without being held accountable?”
Thunberg added, “You get away with it now, but sooner or later people are going to realize what you have been doing all this time.”Thunberg added, “You get away with it now, but sooner or later people are going to realize what you have been doing all this time.”
Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg just delivered her opening remarks at the House oversight subcommittee hearing on fossil fuel subsidies.Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg just delivered her opening remarks at the House oversight subcommittee hearing on fossil fuel subsidies.
Thunberg noted that she is not a scientist, but she said the climate science showing the need to lower greenhouse gas emissions speaks for itself.Thunberg noted that she is not a scientist, but she said the climate science showing the need to lower greenhouse gas emissions speaks for itself.
“All I can do is to urge you to listen to and act on the science and to use your common sense,” Thunberg said.“All I can do is to urge you to listen to and act on the science and to use your common sense,” Thunberg said.
The climate activist argued it was outrageous that politicians are still debating, in the year 2021, whether to end federal subsidies for fossil fuels, which she described as “a disgrace”.The climate activist argued it was outrageous that politicians are still debating, in the year 2021, whether to end federal subsidies for fossil fuels, which she described as “a disgrace”.
The continued existence of fossil fuel subsidies is “clear proof that we have not understood the climate emergency at all,” Thunberg said.The continued existence of fossil fuel subsidies is “clear proof that we have not understood the climate emergency at all,” Thunberg said.
Joseph Aldy, a professor at Harvard University, is the first expert to deliver testimony at the House subcommittee hearing on fossil fuels.Joseph Aldy, a professor at Harvard University, is the first expert to deliver testimony at the House subcommittee hearing on fossil fuels.
“Fossil fuel subsidies represent a government failure,” Aldy said in his opening remarks.“Fossil fuel subsidies represent a government failure,” Aldy said in his opening remarks.
The professor argued the subsidies provide a financial boost to fossil fuel companies that directly contribute to pollution and climate change, meaning the government is incentivizing the companies’ harmful behavior.The professor argued the subsidies provide a financial boost to fossil fuel companies that directly contribute to pollution and climate change, meaning the government is incentivizing the companies’ harmful behavior.
“The first step towards a more effective, modern energy policy should be to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies,” Aldy said.“The first step towards a more effective, modern energy policy should be to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies,” Aldy said.
The House oversight subcommittee on environment has now started its hearing on ending federal subsidies for fossil fuel companies, which will include testimony from climate activist Greta Thunberg.The House oversight subcommittee on environment has now started its hearing on ending federal subsidies for fossil fuel companies, which will include testimony from climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Congressman Ro Khanna, the Democratic chairman of the subcommittee, said such subsidies contribute to climate change. They are “outdated and need to go,” the California congressman said.Congressman Ro Khanna, the Democratic chairman of the subcommittee, said such subsidies contribute to climate change. They are “outdated and need to go,” the California congressman said.
Previewing Thunberg’s testimony, Khanna said the young activist will explain why ending these subsidies is “absolutely essential to the leadership of the world”.Previewing Thunberg’s testimony, Khanna said the young activist will explain why ending these subsidies is “absolutely essential to the leadership of the world”.
The hearing comes as Joe Biden begins a two-day virtual climate summit with dozens of world leaders at the White House.The hearing comes as Joe Biden begins a two-day virtual climate summit with dozens of world leaders at the White House.
Speaking at the White House climate summit this morning, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed relief that the US is once again working to confront climate change.Speaking at the White House climate summit this morning, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed relief that the US is once again working to confront climate change.
“I’m delighted to see that the United States is back, is back to work together with us in climate politics because there can be no doubt about the world needing your contribution if we really want to fulfill our ambitious goals,” Merkel said.“I’m delighted to see that the United States is back, is back to work together with us in climate politics because there can be no doubt about the world needing your contribution if we really want to fulfill our ambitious goals,” Merkel said.
During his presidency, Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Paris climate agreement and generally dismissed or downplayed the need to lower greenhouse gas emissions.During his presidency, Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Paris climate agreement and generally dismissed or downplayed the need to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Joe Biden, however, has pledged to make combating climate change a key focus of his administration and work toward cutting US emissions in half by 2030.Joe Biden, however, has pledged to make combating climate change a key focus of his administration and work toward cutting US emissions in half by 2030.
Joe Biden issued a proclamation this morning formally declaring today to be Earth Day in the US.Joe Biden issued a proclamation this morning formally declaring today to be Earth Day in the US.
“On April 22, 1970, millions of Americans rallied together to protect the right of all of us to live free from environmental hazard and harm. On that first Earth Day, they gathered all across America -- on college campuses, in public parks, and State capitals -- galvanized by a vision of a healthier, more prosperous Nation where all people could thrive,” the president said in his proclamation.“On April 22, 1970, millions of Americans rallied together to protect the right of all of us to live free from environmental hazard and harm. On that first Earth Day, they gathered all across America -- on college campuses, in public parks, and State capitals -- galvanized by a vision of a healthier, more prosperous Nation where all people could thrive,” the president said in his proclamation.
“Their untiring spirit sparked a national movement for environmental protection that endures today in the bedrock laws that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and treasured wild places and wildlife.”“Their untiring spirit sparked a national movement for environmental protection that endures today in the bedrock laws that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and treasured wild places and wildlife.”
Biden noted the importance of Earth Day has never been more profound, given that the US and countries around the world are now seeing the effects of climate change in the form of record-setting temperatures and devastating natural disasters.Biden noted the importance of Earth Day has never been more profound, given that the US and countries around the world are now seeing the effects of climate change in the form of record-setting temperatures and devastating natural disasters.
“More than 50 years ago, a generation rallied to confront the environmental crises they faced,” Biden said. “They took action in hopes that those in power would listen. Today, a new generation is sounding the alarm louder than ever, demanding that world leaders act. It is in all our interests to rise to that challenge and let our legacy be one of action.”“More than 50 years ago, a generation rallied to confront the environmental crises they faced,” Biden said. “They took action in hopes that those in power would listen. Today, a new generation is sounding the alarm louder than ever, demanding that world leaders act. It is in all our interests to rise to that challenge and let our legacy be one of action.”
Congressman Ro Khanna, the Democratic chairman of the House oversight subcommittee on environment, said this morning’s hearing with Greta Thunberg would focus on specific policy changes the US can make to curb the use of fossil fuels.Congressman Ro Khanna, the Democratic chairman of the House oversight subcommittee on environment, said this morning’s hearing with Greta Thunberg would focus on specific policy changes the US can make to curb the use of fossil fuels.
“We appreciate that President Biden ran on ending fossil fuel subsidies. But the details matter,” Khanna said in a statement. “Exactly four months into this administration, progressives are looking for tangible and specific commitments from the Administration to follow through on its own platform.”“We appreciate that President Biden ran on ending fossil fuel subsidies. But the details matter,” Khanna said in a statement. “Exactly four months into this administration, progressives are looking for tangible and specific commitments from the Administration to follow through on its own platform.”
Khanna specifically suggested repealing the deduction for intangible drilling costs and repealing the corporate tax exemption for fossil fuel master limited partnership (MLPs), among other proposals.Khanna specifically suggested repealing the deduction for intangible drilling costs and repealing the corporate tax exemption for fossil fuel master limited partnership (MLPs), among other proposals.
Khanna noted the fossil fuel industry received up to $15 billion in annual federal subsidies during Donald Trump’s presidency, and the progressive congressman implored Joe Biden to take action to end that funding.Khanna noted the fossil fuel industry received up to $15 billion in annual federal subsidies during Donald Trump’s presidency, and the progressive congressman implored Joe Biden to take action to end that funding.
“President Biden and his staff should listen to the countless activists, both here at home and around the world, who are imploring him to pass an infrastructure plan without those same subsidies and take action,” Khanna said. “Obviously we need more, but Biden didn’t run on the Green New Deal, he ran on ending fossil fuel subsidies. We haven’t forgotten and hope he hasn’t either.”“President Biden and his staff should listen to the countless activists, both here at home and around the world, who are imploring him to pass an infrastructure plan without those same subsidies and take action,” Khanna said. “Obviously we need more, but Biden didn’t run on the Green New Deal, he ran on ending fossil fuel subsidies. We haven’t forgotten and hope he hasn’t either.”
Developing countries are increasingly concerned that their need for financial assistance to cope with the climate crisis will go unmet, as leaders of the world’s biggest economies meet for a virtual White House summit on the climate.Developing countries are increasingly concerned that their need for financial assistance to cope with the climate crisis will go unmet, as leaders of the world’s biggest economies meet for a virtual White House summit on the climate.
Joe Biden, the US president, is hosting more than 40 world leaders virtually over the next two days to discuss ways of fulfilling the 2015 Paris climate agreement, and to encourage leading economies to bring forward plans for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade.Joe Biden, the US president, is hosting more than 40 world leaders virtually over the next two days to discuss ways of fulfilling the 2015 Paris climate agreement, and to encourage leading economies to bring forward plans for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade.
Such plans will be crucial to limiting global heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, in line with scientific advice. But alongside these pledges, developing countries are seeking strong new commitments on another crucial area: climate finance, the flow of money from public and private sector sources in the rich world to help the poor world reduce emissions and cope with the intensifying impacts of extreme weather.Such plans will be crucial to limiting global heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, in line with scientific advice. But alongside these pledges, developing countries are seeking strong new commitments on another crucial area: climate finance, the flow of money from public and private sector sources in the rich world to help the poor world reduce emissions and cope with the intensifying impacts of extreme weather.
Lidy Nacpil, coordinator at the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development, said: “We are at a point where we know what needs to be done to reverse the climate chaos and it boils down to this simple principle: wealthier countries, who emit more now and historically, can and should do more with their emissions reductions and delivery of climate finance.”Lidy Nacpil, coordinator at the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development, said: “We are at a point where we know what needs to be done to reverse the climate chaos and it boils down to this simple principle: wealthier countries, who emit more now and historically, can and should do more with their emissions reductions and delivery of climate finance.”
Joe Biden delivered some introductory remarks for the climate summit this morning, when he formally announced the new US goal to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.Joe Biden delivered some introductory remarks for the climate summit this morning, when he formally announced the new US goal to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.
“The United States sets out on the road to cut greenhouse gases in half by the end of this decade. That’s where we are headed as a nation,” the US president said.“The United States sets out on the road to cut greenhouse gases in half by the end of this decade. That’s where we are headed as a nation,” the US president said.
Biden noted the two-day virtual climate summit is “bringing together leaders from around the world to meet this moment of climate peril and extraordinary opportunity”.Biden noted the two-day virtual climate summit is “bringing together leaders from around the world to meet this moment of climate peril and extraordinary opportunity”.
The president emphasized that the climate change response would only be successful if it is a global endeavor.The president emphasized that the climate change response would only be successful if it is a global endeavor.
“No nation can solve this crisis on our own,” Biden said. “All of us, all of us, and particularly those of us who represent the world’s largest economies, have to step up.”“No nation can solve this crisis on our own,” Biden said. “All of us, all of us, and particularly those of us who represent the world’s largest economies, have to step up.”
The US has vowed to cut its planet-heating emissions by at least half by the end of the decade, in a ramping up of ambition aimed at rallying other countries to do more to confront the climate crisis.The US has vowed to cut its planet-heating emissions by at least half by the end of the decade, in a ramping up of ambition aimed at rallying other countries to do more to confront the climate crisis.
Ahead of a virtual gathering of dozens of world leaders in a climate summit called by Joe Biden, which begins on Thursday, the White House said the US will aim to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by between 50% and 52% by 2030, based on 2005 levels.Ahead of a virtual gathering of dozens of world leaders in a climate summit called by Joe Biden, which begins on Thursday, the White House said the US will aim to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by between 50% and 52% by 2030, based on 2005 levels.
This new target, to be formally submitted to the United Nations, represents a stark break from the climate denialist presidency of Donald Trump and will “unmistakably communicate that the United States is back”, according to a White House official who was briefed on the emissions goal. “The United States isn’t going to wait, the costs of delay are too great and our nation is resolved to act right now,” the administration official added.This new target, to be formally submitted to the United Nations, represents a stark break from the climate denialist presidency of Donald Trump and will “unmistakably communicate that the United States is back”, according to a White House official who was briefed on the emissions goal. “The United States isn’t going to wait, the costs of delay are too great and our nation is resolved to act right now,” the administration official added.
The US is scrambling to regain international credibility after Trump pulled the country out of the Paris climate agreement. But the Biden administration said it has already helped secure improved emissions reductions from Canada, Argentina and Japan, meaning that, along with new pledges by countries such as the UK, governments that oversee half of the global economy have targets consistent with stopping the planet’s average temperature from rising above 1.5C, a key Paris goal to avoid disastrous climate impacts.The US is scrambling to regain international credibility after Trump pulled the country out of the Paris climate agreement. But the Biden administration said it has already helped secure improved emissions reductions from Canada, Argentina and Japan, meaning that, along with new pledges by countries such as the UK, governments that oversee half of the global economy have targets consistent with stopping the planet’s average temperature from rising above 1.5C, a key Paris goal to avoid disastrous climate impacts.
Greetings from Washington, live blog readers.Greetings from Washington, live blog readers.
Greta Thunberg, the 18-year-old climate activist from Sweden, is scheduled to virtually testify before the House oversight committee’s subcommittee on the environment today.Greta Thunberg, the 18-year-old climate activist from Sweden, is scheduled to virtually testify before the House oversight committee’s subcommittee on the environment today.
The hearing, which comes on Earth Day, is entitled The Role of Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Preventing Action on the Climate Crisis.The hearing, which comes on Earth Day, is entitled The Role of Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Preventing Action on the Climate Crisis.
“This hearing will discuss the dire health and economic impacts of fossil fuel subsidies and why the current administration and the rest of the international community should fulfill their commitments to repeal fossil fuel subsidies,” the subcommittee said in a statement last week about the hearing.“This hearing will discuss the dire health and economic impacts of fossil fuel subsidies and why the current administration and the rest of the international community should fulfill their commitments to repeal fossil fuel subsidies,” the subcommittee said in a statement last week about the hearing.
Thunberg has repeatedly criticized countries for not doing enough to confront climate change, and the activist has described government subsidies for fossil fuels as “madness”.Thunberg has repeatedly criticized countries for not doing enough to confront climate change, and the activist has described government subsidies for fossil fuels as “madness”.
The hearing also comes as Joe Biden kicks off a two-day virtual climate summit with dozens of world leaders, so much of the testimony from Thunberg and other activists at the hearing will likely be directly aimed at the US president and his foreign counterparts.The hearing also comes as Joe Biden kicks off a two-day virtual climate summit with dozens of world leaders, so much of the testimony from Thunberg and other activists at the hearing will likely be directly aimed at the US president and his foreign counterparts.
The hearing will get under way in about an hour, so stay tuned.The hearing will get under way in about an hour, so stay tuned.