US Lawmakers | It’s no coincidence that US military emissions tend to be overlooked in climate change studies.
Democrats in the United States House of Representatives and Senate have called on US President Joe Biden to use targeted sanctions to punish individuals and companies that are worsening the global climate crisis.
US Lawmakers Call on Biden to Sanction Climate Change Perpetrators
In a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday, Democratic lawmakers particularly targeted China and its companies despite the fact that studies show that the US military is the largest consumer of hydrocarbons on the planet and one of the largest polluters in history.
According to the New York Times, the United States has contributed more than any other country to the atmospheric carbon dioxide that is scorching the planet.
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Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), who signed on the letter, called on the Biden administration to target individuals and companies “that are perpetrating the worst climate damage.”
The lawmakers urged the US administration to use sanction authorities under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act to target individuals and companies that are found to be involved in climate-related corruption and human rights abuses abroad.
Both the Trump and Biden administrations used the Magnitsky Act became to target individuals and companies they said were engaged in corruption or human rights abuses around the world.
Largely individuals and companies from Russia, China, Belarus, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Cuba have been targeted.
The Democratic lawmakers claimed the law can target “climate-destroying behavior.”
“The federal government has yet to use targeted sanctions as a method of deterring reckless, climate-destroying behavior,” the lawmakers wrote.
“In combination with diplomacy, international climate aid, global agreements, and voluntary pledges that can encourage positive climate action, targeted measures could deter government officials, corporations, and private individuals from causing additional harm,” they added.
The lawmakers particularly look interested in using Magnitsky sanctions against China, which they alleged emit the most greenhouse gases of any country in the world.
“While it is promising that the [People’s Republic of China] announced it will stop building coal-fired projects in other countries, the PRC is the largest emitter of global carbon emissions, and the United States must work to ensure that its development finance institutions do not undermine global decarbonization efforts,” the lawmakers wrote.
Sanders and Democratic Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Earl Blumenauer in February introduced legislation that required Biden to declare a national emergency on climate change.
Biden brought the US back into the Paris climate accord in January after former US President Donald Trump pulled the country out.
Trump, a Republican, had labeled climate change a hoax, defying widening international support for the Paris agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
He argued that the concept of global warming had been “created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”
In response to US President Joe Biden’s criticism of the Chinese president not attending the COP26 Glasgow climate change summit, Beijing says “tackling climate change requires concrete action, not empty words.”
In response to Biden’s criticism of the Chinese president not attending the COP26 Glasgow climate change summit, Beijing has said “tackling climate change requires concrete action, not empty words.”
During the COP26 summit on Tuesday, Biden repeatedly referred to the Chinese and Russian leaders’ absence at the summit.
“With regard to the disappointment, the disappointment relates to the fact that… not only Russia but China basically didn’t show up in terms of any commitments to deal with climate change,” Biden said at a news conference at the end of the two-day leaders’ summit in Rome.
China has enforced tight travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Chinese President Xi Jinping has not left his country since the beginning of the contagion. Instead, he addressed observers and delegates in a written message on Monday.
“Actions speak louder than words,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in response to Biden’s criticism on Wednesday.
“What we need in order to deal with climate change is concrete action rather than empty words,” he added. “China’s actions in response to climate change are real.”
Welcoming the US’s return to the Paris climate pact, Wang voiced hope that the US would earnestly shoulder its due responsibilities, come up with and implement specific policies and measures on emissions reduction as soon as possible, and honor its funding commitments.
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Article Source: NewsEdge