November 21, 2013
(Remarks as prepared for delivery)
Hello, I am U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
First, I want to offer my condolences to everyone who has been affected by the tragic typhoon in the Philippines. While a single severe weather event or disaster may not be directly linked to climate change, the Haiyan typhoon is a terrible reminder that the cumulative effects of climate change can increase the harmful impacts of extreme weather events.
In the United States, the evidence of climate change is all around us -- from increasing temperatures, to record flooding, to Superstorm Sandy, to severe wildfires that devastated my home state of California.
Climate experts now say with virtual certainty that the planet is warming due mainly to human activities which have increased the amount of carbon pollution in our air. The level of scientific certainty on man-made climate change is about the same as the consensus among top scientists that cigarettes are deadly.
An overwhelming majority of the American public recognizes that climate change is real and is happening now, and there is strong support for action to address this growing threat.
I am pleased to report that the United States is making significant progress in meeting our commitments to reduce carbon pollution by 2020. In June, President Obama released his new Climate Action Plan. He is also establishing carbon pollution standards for new and existing power plants, and this administration has taken action to control carbon pollution from cars and trucks. That means the U.S. is on its way to reducing carbon pollution from the nation's two largest sources.
My home state of California is leading the shift to clean energy by requiring that 33% of our electricity will come from renewable energy sources by 2020.
In the U.S. Senate, I am working hard with a growing number of my colleagues who are committed to action on climate change now to protect the health and safety of people around the world.
I strongly support the work that is being done in Warsaw to move us toward an international climate change agreement in 2015. Thank you all for your dedication and commitment to working on this global challenge.