MA House of Reps votes to join Paris Climate Agreement

The Massachusetts House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly today (146-10) to join the Paris Climate Agreement as a non-party stakeholder. The decision comes after President Donald Trump announced this spring that the United States was going to withdraw from the historic pact.

The Paris Climate Agreement was signed during the 2015 UN COP meetings in Paris, and was designed to keep global warming from exceeding 2°C. If the US withdraws, the only countries in the world not in the agreement would be Syria and the United States.

Woods Hole Research Center President Phil Duffy testified in support of the bill earlier this year, and met last month with House Democratic leaders to underscore the the importance of state-level climate action.

“Climate change is a grave threat requiring immediate action, which the federal government has chosen to ignore,” Duffy said. “Thankfully we have leaders on the state level who recognize the importance and urgency of climate change and are willing to take action.”

The bill – ‘An Act relative to Massachusetts participation in the Paris Climate Agreement Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards’ – affirms the Commonwealth’s commitment to the Paris Agreement’s standards, commits MA to report emissions data, and requires that the state publish a biennial report on its progress.