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Florida Democrats Showcase Report on Health Benefits if U.S. Rejoins Paris Agreement

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, teamed up with U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., to highlight the report. 

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Three Democrats representing Florida in Congress showcased a report from the U.S. House Oversight Committee on the health benefits for the Sunshine State if the goals of the Paris Agreement are achieved.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, teamed up with U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., to highlight the report.

“The report outlines that in Florida alone, meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement could prevent 101,000 deaths and 40,000 emergency room visits and hospitalizations for cardiovascular and respiratory disease over the next 50 years. The state would avoid more than 23 million lost workdays. Collectively, avoiding these health issues would save Florida over $750 billion,” Mucarsel-Powell’s office noted.

“Climate action can prevent over 100,000 deaths in Florida in the coming decades,” said Castor on Tuesday. “It can keep people out of the E.R. and clean up the air for workers and families. And it can make communities across Florida more resilient to extreme heat and flooding, as we create jobs in clean energy.”

“As the world gets hotter, the risk of heat-related or pollutant-related illnesses and deaths increases substantially—and communities of color are at even higher risk. At all income levels, Hispanic and African American families are significantly more likely than white families to have high rates of exposure to air pollution, water pollution, and toxic chemicals, and to suffer the resulting health effects,” said Mucarsel-Powell. “The Republican Senate must pass the Climate Action Now Act to ensure the U.S. remains a part of the Paris Climate Agreement and takes concrete steps to combat these disastrous health consequences of climate change.”

“Lives could literally be saved by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We could reduce hospital visits, childhood illnesses, and lost workdays, not to mention the economic benefits across the board. Particularly in the midst of this pandemic, which has more severely impacted people with respiratory health issues, we should be doing all we can to make us healthier and better prepared,” said Deutch.

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Drafted at the end of 2015, the  Paris Agreement is part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and was approved by the Obama administration.

President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement in 2017.

“The United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris Accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country.  This includes ending the implementation of the nationally determined contribution and, very importantly, the Green Climate Fund which is costing the United States a vast fortune,” Trump said in 2017.

“Compliance with the terms of the Paris Accord and the onerous energy restrictions it has placed on the United States could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025 according to the National Economic Research Associates.  This includes 440,000 fewer manufacturing jobs — not what we need — believe me, this is not what we need — including automobile jobs, and the further decimation of vital American industries on which countless communities rely.  They rely for so much, and we would be giving them so little,” Trump added.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

 

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  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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