U.S. House backs Paris agreement in first climate bill in a decade

U.S. House backs Paris agreement in first climate bill in a decade
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the "National Day of Prayer" Service in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 2, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque -
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By Valerie Volcovici

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed its first climate change bill in a decade, voting 231-190 to require the Trump administration to keep the United States as a party to the Paris Climate Agreement.

The Climate Action Now Act would require President Donald Trump to develop a plan for the United States to meet the goals it committed to in the Paris agreement to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide and block federal funds from being used to advance the formal U.S. withdrawal from the pact.

Trump has stood by his 2017 decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 climate accord and has been dismissive of regulations aimed at slashing greenhouse gas emissions.

The bill, which passed as expected along party lines, with three Republicans backing the measure, was meant to signal to the international community that many Americans support the Paris agreement regardless of Trump's decision to abandon it.

“Today we sent a message to the President, to the American people and to the world that we recognise the seriousness of the climate crisis and that we intend to do our part to address it. Today we sent the message: we are still in," said Congressman Frank Pallone, chair of the House energy committee.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will not take up the legislation, dismissing the bill as "political theatre" by Democrats.

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and James Dalgleish)

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