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Bonamici Leads Colleagues in Resolution Recognizing Need to Take Action on Climate after Dire IPCC Ocean and Cryosphere Report

September 25, 2019
Press Release


WASHINGTON, DC [9/25/19] – Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Co-Chair of the House Oceans Caucus and a member of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, introduced a resolution highlighting the findings of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on the Ocean and the Cryosphere in a Changing Climate and recognizing the need for ocean-centric solutions to the climate crisis.


The resolution emphasizes the findings of the report, which is the most comprehensive scientific assessment to date of the effects of climate change on our ocean and coasts, as well as polar and mountain ecosystems. It also reaffirms that immediate action is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to protect the health of our ocean and the stability of the cryosphere. At a time when the Trump Administration perpetually dismisses and denies climate science, the Congresswoman is committed to amplifying the voices of the scientific community.


“The findings in the IPCC’s Special Report are dire: the climate crisis is devastating our planet, from the remote deep ocean floor to the most pristine Arctic and mountain regions,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “Our ocean has literally taken the heat for our inaction, but we can act now to protect the health of our ocean, cryosphere, and planet. I am committed to doing all I can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest in solutions, like blue carbon, ocean driven renewable energy, and the electrification of the maritime industry, that leverage the power of our oceans to mitigate the climate crisis. I am grateful to Senator Ed Markey for his leadership on climate change and partnership on addressing this critical report."


“The science in today’s IPCC report is crystal clear. Climate change is wreaking havoc on our marine and polar ecosystems, with devastating effects on coastal communities,” said Senator Ed Markey. “In Massachusetts we’re facing accelerating sea level rise, 3-4 times that of the global level. Our iconic fisheries are suffering as species such as lobster, are moving north, out of our waters. We need to take climate action now, and we can—and must--include the oceans in our climate solutions. I thank Congresswoman Bonamici for her leadership on this important issue.”


Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) is expected to introduce a similar resolution in the Senate later today.


The full text of the resolution can be found here. The resolution has been endorsed by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Ocean Conservancy. 


The resolution was cosponsored by Representatives Kathy Castor, Peter DeFazio, Raúl M. Grijalva, Mark Takano, Jared Huffman, Julia Brownley, Mike Levin, Sean Casten, Alan Lowenthal, Don Beyer, Chellie Pingree, Debbie Dingell, Jerry McNerney, Earl Blumenauer, Derek Kilmer, Jan Schakowsky, Andy Levin, Chris Pappas, André Carson, Ted Deutch, Bill Keating, Harley Rouda, Mike Quigley, Eric Swalwell, Donna Shalala, Pramila Jayapal, Ed Case, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Joe Courtney, Kim Schrier, Jahana Hayes, James R. Langevin, and Katie Porter.


Bonamici, who has championed ocean health issues during her time in Congress on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, outlined her vision for how the ocean can help mitigate the climate crisis in a Medium post. She is working on legislation to strengthen blue carbon research and support the conservation and restoration of coastal wetlands.


Earlier this year, the House unanimously passed Bonamici’s COAST Research Act to expand scientific research and monitoring of ocean and coastal acidification. On World Oceans Day, she co-authored an op-ed with marine ecologist and former NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco that focused on making the ocean a central part of the climate solution.