Top Dem: Ignoring UN climate report could lead to 'irreversible problems'

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the U.S. should strengthen research for renewable energies in light of a United Nations report on climate change.

The U.N.'s report stated that climate change is caused almost entirely by humans and that greenhouse gas emissions are the "highest in history." The report further warned that the effects of climate change will be "severe, pervasive, and irreversible" if nothing is done to combat them.

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Engel said the report showed that Americans should pay more attention to the consequences of climate change.

"By ignoring the science that is so clearly and persuasively set forth in this report, we are saddling future generations with unimaginable and possibly irreversible problems," Engel said.

The New York Democrat argued the U.S. should invest in renewable energy.

"We must intensify our efforts to develop renewable energy technologies to replace energy sources that cause global warming. Our innovators have the ability to set the world on a low-emissions path, and our governments have an obligation to encourage them. The time to act is now," Engel said.

The response to the U.N. report has fallen largely along party lines. House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said the findings were "political."

"Similar to previous reports, the latest findings appear more political than scientific," Smith said. "People are tired of the re-packaged rhetoric. It’s time to stop fear mongering and focus on an honest dialogue about real options."

 

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