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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 30, 2015 9:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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thank you very much for your long-standing public service and as was pointed out by the previous witness, this is a family commitment, we thank you and your family for your willingness to serve our country in this critically important position. you bring a host of qualifications to this nomination. senior position at department of energy and department of defense, a career that prevents terrorists from using weapons of mass destruction. you're currently the senior director of the weapons of mass destruction terrorism and threat reduction at the national security council. you come well prepared for the challenges in vienna and i say that because, yes, there are the direct responsibilities that you have on the organizations in vienna under the united nations and the iaea and others. but it's also working with two other very important missions that we have, the host mission
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for austria as well as the osce mission that you and i had a chance to talk about all are housed in vienna. so you're part of a diplomatic team that we have in a critically important place where major decisions are being made. obviously the focus today is very much on the responsibilities and the implementation of the iran agreement by the iaea and as we talked privately and i'll repeat now and as i pointed out to ambassador shannon, your openness with us is critically important and appreciate the commitments that you've made in that regard. mr. chairman, i'm also pleased to note that a former member of this body who worked closely with laura holgate during the eight years she worked at the nuclear threat initiative has written a letter on her behalf touting mrs. holgate "superb
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only in and skills and passion for reducing global dangers." i would request that be part of our record. >> without objection. thank you, senator cardin. i will turn to our second nominee. that's laura holgate who is nominated to serve as ambassador and u.s. representative to the united nations and international atomic energy sergeant agentsy. she's advised the president for over six years in special assistant to the president and senior director for weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and threat reduction in the national security council. she received her bachelor of arts from princeton university and a master's in science from the massachusetts institute of technology. we welcome you. if you could summarize your thoughts in about five minutes, we will look forward to questions and, again, congratulations on your nomination. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, ranking member cardin, members of the committee. i'm honored to appear before you today as the president's nominee to serve as the u.s. permanent
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representative to the vienna offices of the united nations, the international atomic energy agency and other international organizations in vienna. i'm grateful to president obama and to secretary kerry for the kfsz they have placed in me. this is a critical moment for the united states' interests in the iaea and the other u.n. offices in vienna. full implementation of the joint comprehensive plan of action with iran, successful transition of the nuclear security summits' work to secure and reduce global stockpiles of nuclear material to the relevant enduring international institutions, safe and secure expansion of nuclear energy and other peaceful nuclear technologies and innovative peaceful applications of space science depend on active, focused leadership and engagement by the united states to promote our national interests and to advance our contributions toward shared global priorities. my experience inside and outside the u.s. government has prepared me to play this vital role in
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vienna. i've worked on reducing nuclear, biological and chemical threats since 1989. i have served a combined 14 years in the department of defense, the department of energy, and at the national security council where i led programs and developed policies to keep materials out of terrorist hands, to destroy chemical weapons in russia, libya, and syria and to prevent bioterrorism. for eight years i headed the non-government nuclear threat initiatives programs in the former soviet union and pioneered projects such as the iaea's low enriched uranium fuel bank. most relevant to the position for which i am being considered, i have led the preparation of four nuclear security summit, working closely with counterparts from 52 diverse countries and four international organizations, including the united nations and the iaea. each of these positions has contributed to my ability to represent the united states and the president with authority and respect. if i may, mr. chairman, i would like to introduce to you and the
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committee three very special people who have joined me hear today -- my husband rick holgate has for 27 years steadfastly supported my career even as he has built his own impressive accomplishments in government service and in the private sector. i am proud and grateful for his encouragement and partnership as we consider this new opportunity to serve. my parents, susan and burt hayes are here from richmond as well. my father as a twa pilot opened my eyes, ears, and mind to the wide world beyond overland park, kansas. and my mother set the example of opening our doors and our hearts to people who are different from us. these early influences launched me on the path to today's hearing and i hope to honor their faith in me by my service. and i deeply appreciate the support of friends and colleagues who are watching these proceedings today. mr. chairman, if i am confirmed in this position, i pledge to strengthen and broaden the partnerships with other member states and with the u.n.
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agencies in vienna and further develop the coalitions that we need to achieve u.s. priorities. the key among these goals is that the iaea has the tools it needs to monitor implementation of the p5+1 iran joint comprehensive plan of action. going forward, the iaea with its proven record of technical expertise offers us an agency well placed to ensure robust implementation. i pledge to play my role in keeping congress informed and engaged as this implementation process proceeds. another opportunity i see is to leverage the u.n. office of drugs and crimes technical assistance to counter and prevent terrorism and trafficking through training and other support for judges and prosecutors, especially those in high-threat regions and countries. u.n. o.d.c.'s efforts complement our own counterterrorism efforts and reach countries we may not be able to engage directly.
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finally, if confirmed i will press organizations in vienna to continue to make progress on management reforms, transparency and fairness. i will encourage intensified efforts towards achieving greater diversity, including at the senior and policy-making levels. i will continue the efforts of my predecessors to strongly support the hiring of qualified american citizens to these organizations. mr. chairman, the specialized and technical agencies in vienna foster activities and technologies that affect the lives of every citizen everyday, from combatting the spread of nuclear weapons in human and arms trafficking to harnessing the power of the atom to promote human health and reduce and eliminate hunger to utilizing space for communication, disaster early warning and exploration and research. if confirmed, i would work in close consultation with this committee and the congress to ensure that u.s. values and priorities are fully reflected in our positions and that u.s. contributions and resources are
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expended with care. we owe the american people and the people all over the world no less. i thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today and i look forward to your questions. >> well, thank you very much. if you would, explain -- i know we have a gentleman, former ambassador steven maul who will be overseeing the implementation. how are your role and his role interact? >> thank you, sir. if confirmed, i would be continuing as -- i would be part of ambassador moll's team of interagency partners. the current charge in the position participatie ins in th meetings remotely and is in regular contact with ambassador moll. i would expect to continue and intensify that level of engagement in the inner agency policy process and the role in the -- in vienna is to be the eyes and ears on the ground of what's going on, not just the formal presentation of
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information from the secretariat but understanding the trends, the issues, the mood, how the conversations are going and being sure that those are reported back into the u.s. policy process. also, being alert to opportunities to improve activities or steps that may need to be taken and to be sure that those are incorporated into our government-wide implementation efforts. >> who do you actually, if confirmed, who will you actually receive direction if here in washington relative to positions that you take? >> the letter of commission for ambassadors typically says the directions come from the president and from the secretary of state, sir. my chain, my reporting chain goes through assistant secretary crocker and then up through the position that we just had the nominee for. but these issues are addressed in an interagency process and a
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whole-of-government effort and i will, if confirmed, play the role that i'm assigned in that context. >> i know you're going to get some questions from someone, whether qfr and personal, in a personal way relative to whether you're involved in the negotiation of the jcpoa and so i'd like to give you the opportunity publicly to state what your involvement was. >> appreciate that question, senator, as we discussed in our conversation which appreciated i was not part of the negotiating team, nor was i privy to the judgments made in the process of that negotiation. i am, however, familiar with its contents and i am fully prepared to vigorously support its implementation in the iaea. and will you have the opportunity in this position if confirmed to be able to read the side agreements that were negotiated? >> mr. senator, the side agreements that are referred to are actually safeguards agreements that are bilateral
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agreements between the iaea and the member state. those are safeguards confidential and those are not shared with any member states. >> i hadn't planned to go down this route but i'm just curious, then, what kind of oversight role do you have in this position? >> well, the international -- >> in other words, so you have to director -- so the director is just able to negotiate whatever the director wishes and the folks who do what you do have no oversight role? no board of directors type role relative to the entity? >> senator, it's my understanding that safeguards agreements are bilateral agreements between the secretariat and the member state. that's true for every country that's a member of the iaea. the u.s. has a similar safeguards agreement that is not public, is not available to other member states. this is part of how the iaea maintains the confidentiality of
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information that is supplied in connection with that. the iaea is, however, required to report on its findings on confirmation and verification of the commitments made in these safeguards agreements and those are the reports that are provided by to member states and that we will be providing to the congress as they come from the secretariat. >> and, again, i know you have nothing do with how this has been set up, this is not directed at you, i'm just, again, had not planned to go down this route. so that's odd, i would seem to me, that the safeguards agreement is the agreement as to how the work is going to be carried out. so you're not really conveying any confidential information, you're just talking about how you're going to deal with that entity to find out or that country to find out how they're progressing in the agreements that are made. why would that be kept away from the folks, if you will, that are
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overseeing this particular organization? i'm just curious as to why you think that would be the case? >> mr. senator, the safeguards agreements include a range of technical details, including design of nuclear facilities, including proprietary information about how those facilities operate, an extreme amount of technical detail that helps the agency understand where it needs to apply safeguards, how it has to do with the process that is executed in that facility. those are -- that is not information that countries are eager to share with other countries and, frankly, from a non-proliferation point of view, that's not information you're eager to have made public. >> one of the things that concerned people no matter how they ended up voting relative to the agreement, i think there was a concern, universal concern, about the issue of possible military dimensions and the fact that the -- all iran had to do was go through the process and whether the iaea came up with a report that was an a-plus report
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or a d-minus report it didn't matter as long as the process was gone through, if you will. that was very concerning, i think, to a lot of people and somewhat shocking and i guess i would ask you, let's say you're confirmed and, you know, the report comes back as a d-minus. in other words, we really didn't learn much because they didn't provide much information which, again, concerned a lot of people. what is in the this particular role that you would be able to do about that, if anything? >> senator, as i understand it, the iaea will be delivering its report in mid-december. if i am fortunate enough to achieve your confidence by then in order to be there at that time that report will be provided to the board of governors of the iaea and the board will have a chance to act and engage on the basis of that
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information. the jcpoa is focused on the future rather than the past so its mission is to make sure that those activities do not occur again, that if, in fact, there are steps taken towards possible military activities of iran that those are alerted to, that those are identified by the iaea, alerted to member states and in a timely fashion that allows us to take steps to prevent them from happening again. >> but you do agree with all the technical background that you have that having knowledge as to how far they've gone in the past towards weaponization is an important element in discerning how quickly in the future they will be able to move towards that same goal, is it not? >> yes, sir. knowledge is absolutely an important component of approaches to a military program but all the knowledge in the world is -- does not get you to
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a weapon if they don't have material, if they don't have the with all to make material that could be used as a weapon and that's the mission of the iaea, to monitor in an unprecedentedly intrusive way from the mines all the way throw the reactor and after. every piece of nuclear material that is used in iran. and that is where we gain the confidence that that knowledge will not be misapplied. >> i'll move on to senator cardin, my time is up. i probably will have more questions. >> i'm going to follow up on your question first. the director general of the iaea reports that the board of governors, you're our representative on the board of governors, we expect that you will have access to all information you need to properly manage the director general, the iaea and represent the united states. and i don't disagree with your analysis that the agreements we're referring to are confidential agreements between the -- negotiated by the iaea
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and the member states and confidentiality is maintained. iran's somewhat different. during the negotiations of the jcpoa a representative of the united states was allowed to review those documents and i don't know whether that was done directly by the iaea or by iran but it was done and i mention that because i think as senator corker pointed out, we're going to need a clear understanding as to how iran is proceeding, particularly as it relates to its military dimensions. but there's more to it than that. and a working understanding of the arrangements between the iaea and the -- iran is going to be essential for you to be fully read into that. and i think you will and then we need your candid assessments as to how much information we receive and whether it's in compliance with the jcpoa.
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so i just really wanted to underscore that point. i understand confidentiality but i also understand responsibilities of the board of governs and you're the key player in that regard so you have responsibility here. let me just ask you an open question on this which is where do you see the greatest challenges within the iaea in assuring compliance by iran of its commitments under jcpoa, which -- that part that comes under the responsibilities of the iaea. >> senator, thank you for that question. the -- i think the most challenging components of this agreement are going to be these novel aspects of the safeguards activities that the iaea is being asked to undertake under the jcpoa. the work that they're doing at the mine, in the milling, in the conversion process of how uranium is handled within the
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country is unprecedented. now, the u.s. has continued its long tradition of providing training, information, technical support, equipment to the iaea safeguards community and that will -- that continues to be the case and it will be even more important as these safeguards inspectors are trained for these new roles so the u.s. stands fully ready to play its traditional role of strong support to make sure the agency has the people, the resources, and the technology it needs to carry out these new roles. >> and even though they will not be inspectors carrying u.s. passports, the united states plays a critical role here as far as training and information, et cetera. i'm assuming that's what you're referring to? >> that's precisely what i'm referring to, senator, thank you. >> now, outside of iran there will be other issues that you're engaged with. the safe handling of materials
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particularly by those states in the handling of the use of those materials and the npt commitments. with such a focus on iran and the resources being used there, where do you see the challenges in a strong commitment towards the npt safeguards? >> the safeguards requirements of the iaea will be critical to be applied globally under their role under the treaty. the u.s. and other member states have committed to make sure this is not a zero-sum game from a resource point of view with the resources that are going to be required in support of jcpoa implementation and there is a formula being worked out in -- as we speak on the balance between regular assessments and voluntary contributions to be sure the agencies work in the jcpoa implementation does not interfere with or take away from
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the work it needs to do all over the world to assure the material is not diverted to weapons programs. >> and then lastly, if i might, how do you see your role working with other representatives from other countries. some who were directly involved in the jcpoa but others that were not in getting a firm international support for u.s. policies? >> senator, that's the essential role of the diplomat and it's one that i am eager to have the opportunity to play if confirmed. many of these permanent representatives and ambassadors in vienna are individuals i have that worked with because they represent their countries in the nuclear security summit process. so i begin with some familiarity with some of the key members of the vienna diplomatic community. certainly the work to do to assemble coalitions around supporting particular decision-making processes to
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represent a common face in discussions in the board of borns aborn s governs in the general conference is something i commit to doing as effectively as i am able. >> we appreciate your willingness to continue to serve. >> thank you, sir. >> senator cain? >> thank you. as someone who grew up in overland park, i'm particularly happy to see you and your family here. the iaea has an interesting track record. i think it's an organization that generally has a positive track record, not unmarred by challenges certainly. after iraq and north korea developed nuclear weapons programs in the covert means, that was, i think, an admitted weakness of the iaea and others that allowed to that to happen but then the iaea said we need a fix and so they went back to the table to develop the additional protocol that nations now must follow to try to route out that
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possibility. so that was a bad incident in the iaea's history but they reacted to fix in the a good way. the iaea was -- to our remaining sadness, right in march 2003 when they said iraq didn't have a program of weapons of mass destruction or at least they could find no credible evidence that it did and that conclusion of the iaea was heavily trashed by a lot of people here and it turned out the iaea was right and the we were wrong. that was a momentous moment. but i'm impressed with the organization but, boy, the tasks on the shoulders of this organization are pretty monumental. first, does the iaea have the budgetary resources that it needs to do the work that is on its shoulders? especially in the jcpoa, the commitment that there should be 130 plus iaea inspectors in iran to monitor the jcpoa? talk to us about the resources
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the organization has. >> well, sir, appreciate the question and may i say go royals. >> indeed. 2-0, we're thrilled. the agency's resources to support president jcpoa have been estimated at around 10 million euro. they believe that about half of that can be accommodated within the existing safeguards budget without detriment to the other missions that it has inside that budget. and that about five million euro will be needed to be raised from voluntary contributions to other countries. the u.s. is the largest contributor of voluntary contributions for a range of projects and activities within the iaea. i fully expect we will play our appropriate role but that's clearly an area where other countries can contribute to the success of the jcpoa, including many of those who may have been on the sidelines but supporting the diplomatic solution that we pursued. and so we do not expect that
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this will be a large challenge for the agency to identify the resources. >> well, next to iranian intent, the single-most important element that will determine whether this jcpoa works or not is the verification so iranian intent, you know, we'll keep our focus on their actions, their intent is still the most important factor. but the verification mechanisms are what give us the ability to determine that intent and so the iaea doing a good job and having the resources to do a good job is absolutely critical and i know you share that view. one of my hopes is this. the deal certainly talks about traditional iaea protocol, the additional protocol which iran exceeds to for the first eight years and then i guess legislatively has to decide whether they permanently accept. but in addition, this extra inspection of the supply chain, as you point out kind frof miof
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mine to mill to reactor, the whole supply chain of fissile material is incredibly important and what i would love to see, i would hope at the end of that 25-year agreement that this might have been incorporated as a best practice into the additional protocol so that it wouldn't just be a 25-year commitment iran would make but if iran agrees to the additional protocol over time this supply chain monitoring could be added to the additional protocol for iran and all nations. i think the -- this is a new best practice in the agreement in terms of verification. right now it is only applicable to iran and only for the 25-year period. but i would hope -- and i would like to ask, since i don't know about this, kindover has the additional protocol been modified over time? does it get modified to include new best practice elements and that would be a realistic hope that i would have that by the end of 25 years that this would become the norm? >> well, thank you, sir. it's always important that the
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safeguards processes of the iaea improve over time and, in fact, they have done so. the jcpoa is explicit, however, that these specific innovations are unique to this agreement and do not form a precedent. that was important to gain agreement to this document and that is the intent of those who associated with it. that having been said, as you said, there are best practices that are developed in the implementation of these activities, there are lessons learned, there are new technologies that are identified. there are ways to accomplish the same goal with fewer people or fewer resources and so the iaea and, indeed, the whole international community will be learning a loath during this 25-year period and and in our constant effort to improve and enhance iaea safeguards, we may find those techniques can be applicable to the broader safeguards activities of the agency. >> great. great.
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thank you so much for your testimony. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you for your willingness to serve. as you heard what the last witness, there will be questions that will be coming in until the close of business monday. obviously we understand the importance of responding to those fairly quickly. we thank your family for being here and their willingness to participate in this and with that, the meeting is adjourned. thank you.
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texas congressman gavin brady wants to to be chair of the house ways and means committee now that the former chair, paul ryan, has been elected speaker of the house. congressman brady joins us on this weekend's news maker to talk about the debt ceiling, tax reform and the congressional agenda under new republican leadership. news makers is on sunday c-span
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at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern. the two-year budget deal passed by congress this week increases spending by $80 billion. equally divided between domestic and military programs and it extends the debt ceiling until march, 2017, two months after president obama leaves office. you can raid the 144 page bill on our web site, cspan.org. here are viewer comments via tweets about thursday's house speaker election. jonathan allen tweeted "excellent vote graphic makes c-span look like espn." and from mitt romney "i got the first speaker selfie." aim ji my joe tweeted yes i am watching c-span. does this surprise anyone who knows me.
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"watching from australia, very inspiring speech. politics in our country broken and combative lately, we could use a ryan." "how could a member of the minority party run for house speaker?" "got my #c-span on keeping an eye out for those colorado representatives. what morning would it be without a predictable house vote." "my view of the speaker vote, i'm watching c-span on a plane, this really is the future." the best access to congress is c-span, c-span radio and cspan.org and go behind the scenes on capitol hill by following our capitol hill producer @craigcaplan a and @c-span. state department special envoy for climate change todd stern testified at a senate foreign relations subcommittee hearing recently. he was asked about the upcoming climate change conference in paris. the epa's clean power plant reduced carbon pollution to
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reduce greenhouse gas emission. good afternoon, i'd like to call this hearing to order the senate foreign relations subcommittee on multilateral international development, multilateral institutions and international economic energy and environmental policy. maybe the longest-named subcommittee in the history of the senate. i'd like to welcome senator udall and our guests today. we're examining the objectives and intentions of the administration's international climate negotiations in paris as well as the potential ramifications for the united states. the conference will take place from november 30 to december 11 in paris this year.
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i'm so pleased to welcome our witness from the state department mr. todd stern, the united states special envoy for climate change and will be the lead negotiator for the paris climate change conference. he has a unique perspective as to what it is that this administration is negotiating for in any climate change deal thank you for being with us today. i do have serious concerns about the impact any deal reached in paris will have on the american economy on our international priorities and environmental goals. i'm hearing from my constituents about their concerns. their concerns that the president is committing to united states to will strengthen foreign economies at the expense of american workers and line the pockets of developing nations with millions of taxpayer
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dollars. this is proposed at a time of scarce resource which is is needed to address humanitarian crises abroad. whatever deal is reached in the back rooms of the paris climate change conference it has been telegraphed by this administration that the deal will be a calculated end run around congress just like the kyoto protocol and the united nations framework convention on climate change, economy commitment to target or timetable must go through the process established by the founders in our constitution, must be submitted to the united states senate for advice and consent. the president has made clear that he doesn't see it that way as was the case with the iranian nuclear deal. for that reason, we need to send a message to the nations that are partners with the president in any final deal that beyond a shadow of a doubt the senate will not stand by any agreement that binds the american people
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to targets or timetables on emissions without our advice and consent. . the president's joint announcement with china has sent a loud and clear signal that a paris deal could be an economic and environmental 'luudser for the american people. in november, 2014, president obama and the president of china made a joint announcement on targets to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions. president obama pledged to reduce u.s. greenhouse gases by 26% to 28% by 2025. china agreed to peak its carbon dioxide emissions in 2030. this agreement forces americans to drastically recrease odecrea missions immediately while china lets their emissions rise for the next 15 years. according to the congressional research service, china has been the highest emitter of greenhouse gases across the globe since around 2007. currently china emits 23% of net
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greenhouse gases worldwide while our nation share has declined to only 13%. this is a terrible deal for americans but a great deal for the chinese government and the chinese economy. i also want to address my concerns about the administration's $3 billion pledge to the green climate fund. the american public does not support paying their hard earned taxpayer dollars into a slush fund that spends billions of international climate change programs in developing nations to address the impacts of extreme weather. the need for spending our natural disasters is down historically while other international priorities have increased. according to the 2014 annual global climate and catastrophe report "global natural disasters in 2014 combined to cause economic losses of $132 billion.
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37% below the ten-year average of $211 billion." with immediate global priorities such as the upheaval in the middle east and syria and iraq to a resurgent tlaush shah in eastern europe and abroad we should be focusing our resources on countering global terrorist threat, humanitarian assistance, democracy promotion and embassy security measures. the only reason i can see the administration wants to provide this funding is that there would be no deal without this wealth transfer to developing nations despite talk of american leadership to bring everyone to the table to save the planet, it's apparently american taxpayer -- that will pay off developing nations to act. american taxpayer cash is the only green the international bureaucrats in paris seem to care about and the only green that will result from any climate change agreement because after all is said and done this deal won't achieve in environmental gains that have been promised or will be
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promised. in fact the environment will be in worse shape. nations like china that are the main emitters internationally are getting a pass on having to take any shared economic pain. if china doesn't play a major role and contribute significantly, all that will result environmentally from paris is hot air from bureaucrats and politicians, overpromising and underdelivering in front of the cameras. there will be no temperature reductions, meanwhile international priorities will go underfunded. i have serious concerns what about will occur in paris and ask the members of this committee consider these concerns as we approach the climate change conversation. i'd like to turn to ranking member senator udall to offer his opening remarks. >> thank you very much today and i think you're right, it's very appropriate for us to have this hearing at this point and thank you mr. stern for appearing before our subcommittee today. we face an urgent task in
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paris -- to bring the international community together, to chart a more sustainable future for our children and our grandchildren. nasa estimates that 2015 is 93% likely to be the warmest year on record and the current record holder last year, 2014. gloeshl warming is one of our greatest challenge that requires a global effort through a comprehensive international agreement. that's the only way we can truly tackle this problem. it's an environmental challenge, it's an energy challenge, it's a public health challenge, and it's a national security challenge. it is a challenge to preserve our planet. and no one, no country is immune from that challenge or can meet that challenge alone. for years, the global community has looked for answers to the problem. we have gone through various international agreements and protocols, sadly the u.s. has often failed to lead on this in
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the past. but today i'm more optimistic. i'm optimistic even with the tremendous political challenges here in congress. i have led the charge in our proepirations committee to fight against dangerous environmental riders, those riders would do great damage to our efforts in paris. i'll continue to fight them and i'm sure they will fail and with increased u.s. leadership over the last five years we've meat great international progress. we've been working on an agreement that will be applicable to all. that is what we need. an agreement that is comprehensive, fair, and ensures every country does its fair share on climate change. the paris agreement takes us in the right direction, signing up count rise developed and developing to halt the climate crisis. the united states must lead and set an example for other countries. this is the right thing to do to
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protect our economy in the long term. more importantly it's the essential thing to do for future generations. over 150 countries will be part of the paris agreement. each country is setting out how they will tackle the problem on their own terms. this is encouraging and it is an important change from the past. the largest emitters in the developing world -- china and india -- are making serious commitments. opponents of u.s. climate action have argued other nations, especially china would never act to limit their i missions. now they are. this is critical to ensure we act globally and fight climate pollution that leads to catastrophic climate change. another sign of progress, the world's largest oil and gas companies are supporting a climate agreement. b.p., shell, and the massive state oil companies of saudi arabia and mexico are among the ten major oil companies making
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commitme commitments. the united states can help lead this effort not only at the negotiating table in paris but the front lines in new mexico and florida and alaska and every state. we can create clean energy jobs, put clean energy independence and climate stability at the forefront. many state of new mexico will benefit greatly from this agreement. new mexico is at the bull's-eye for climate change with historic drought and other harsh impacts. but we were also leading in new and innovative ways for renewable energy and break through technologies. there are currently more than 98 solar companies in new mexico employing 1600 people. there are now more solar jobs in the united states than coal jobs. renewable energy jobs and electrocutions are in abundance in new mexico and this is true for many other states. support for renewable energy is
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strong nearly half of the u.s. senate supported my amendment in january for a renewable electricity standard that would have mandated 25% of our energy come from renewable resources by 2025. so while each state faces unique climate impacts and challenges each state has unique strengths and solutions to contribute. together we can tackle this challenge as a unified country so we can lead the global community as we confront this challenge as a unified planet. together we can find a path forward that works. the paris agreement represents a historic opportunity to build a global effort to add dresds climate change. it's an opportunity and an obligation and one history will show was the right thing to do. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you so much, senator udall. i would like to submit for the record a statement from senator inhofe who is not a member of
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this commit subcommittee. once again i would like to thanked to stern fthank ed todd stern for joining us. your statement will be entered into the record and i'd ask you to summarize in the five minutes in order for members to have an opportunity to ask questions. with w that, we turn to you, mr. stern. thank you. >> that works better. okay, thank you very much, mr. chairman. i am pleased to be here and appreciate the opportunity to testify before your subcommittee today i want to explain the approach we have taken to the international climate change negotiations over the last number of years and what we hope to accomplish in paris. the obama administration came into office convinced that we had to take bold action to tackle climate change but we also knew a fundamental reframing of our approach to international climate negotiations would be needed. we absorbed the hard lessons of
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kyoto and heeded concerns. we concluded the target should be set by countries themselves not imposed on them. that all countries should be expected to act, recognizing that developing countries face unique challenges and that we should expect strong transparency and accountability from all countries. that is the deal we've been fighting for. the president and secretary kerry have worked hard on building international support for this approach, working with leaders from china to brazil to india, african countries and small island states facing clear and present threats from a change in climate. in particular the historic joint announcement between president obama and president xi supplemented by their recent joint statement marked a new era of climate diplomacy. we now live in a in new reality where china has pledged to peak its emissions, to bring online an average of a gig watt of clean energy from now to 2030,
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to implement a national cap-and-trade plan and provide $3.1 billion in climate finance. and where more than 150 countries have announced their own targets and plans to address climate change. u.s. leadership has been at the heart of this progress. most fundamentally we have leveled the playing field by leading on a structure and process that has lead to those 150 plus submissions including some 110 from developing countries. this by itself is a testament to the buy in of countries around the world and a demonstration that the old rigid bifurcation of developed and developing countries is changing. in particular we propose the structure of nationally determined mitigation contributions to ensure maximum participation we needed to reassure countries that they could join the agreement without disrespecting the priorities. we propose parties submit their
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targets early rather than the end of paris because such exposure would push all to do their best and the result has been a drum beat of submissions. we have pushed for the idea of successive rounds of targets coupled with longer term goals for greater ambition. we have pressed for an approach that continues to recognize that developing countries have unique challenges but asks all count rise to take action to address this global challenge. we are leading proponents of a robust transparency system of reporting and review with flexibility for those who need it based on their capacity. and we have backed non-legally binding targets as the best way to ensure broad participation since many countries would be unwilling to accept binding targets and we are unwilling to have a structure based on kyoto and we are convinced as well that this approach will bolster rather than undermine ambition. an agreement like this, if i may say, is exactly what voices from both sides of the the isaisle he
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been calling for for a long period of time. a strong paris agreement is in the interest of the united states, it's in our economic interests because the costs of inaction properly accounted for willors costs of acting and because no one is better positioned in the united states to win big in the multitrillion dollar 21st century market for low carbon energy inme separation. it's in our diplomat low mat i can interest because climate change is a high and rising priority for countries all over the world and it's untenable for the united states to stand apart. it's in our national security interest because unchecked climate change threatens global disruptions. admiral samuel locklear, then commander of pacific command in 2013 said upheaval related to climate change "is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen." the thing that will cripple the security environment probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk
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about. mr. chairman, the climate deal is far from done but we will strive to produce a strong, solid outcome. i'll be happy to take your questions. >> well, thank you so much for joining us today. thank you so much for your succinct summary, statement, and i'd like to start with questioning and go with seven-minute rounds that gives plenty of time for everyone to ask questions. on august 26 of this past year, the "new york times" had a story entitled "obama pursuing climate accord in lieu of treaty." the article states "the obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions but without ratification from congress." it also talks about the administration working on a "politically binding deal to cut emissions rather than a legally binding treaty that would require a approval by two-thirds of the senate." in addition, the french foreign
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minister fabius indicated that to be successful in paris, as he said, we must find a formula which is valuable for everybody and valuable for the u.s. without going to congress. will any paris agreement be legally binding on the united states? >> mr. chairman, the negotiations obviously are still under way and what elements of the paris agreement will or won't be binding is not something that is worked out yet. there are i would say different views. there are different views from many different parties. if you were to look at the draft text which is being discussed now you would see in provision after provision brackets that indicate the language which signifies legally binding and also language which signifies not legally binding so the short answer is we don't know. although i will say as i said in
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my testimony that a core part of our own approach is that the targets countries are undertaking should not be legally binding. >> but some parts would be legally binding? i wonder if you think it serves the interest of this country to establish a precedent that international commitments are made in a manner designed to thwart the constitutionally derived oversight role of congress, of the the united states senate. >> well, i would not think that would serve the interest of the country, mr. chairman. we are going to look at the agreement once we have an agreement and we will evaluate at that time, but -- and we will act fully in accordance with laws. you know there are different procedures by which the united states has historically and continues to join international
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agreement, so we will act fully in accordance with law. we don't know yet what the agreement is going to say. >> does the administration plan to submit any climate change agreement produced in paris to the senate for its advice and consent? >> mr. chairman, we don't know yet what the elements of the agreement are going to be so it would -- it's hard to speculate at this time. as i said, we're trying to -- we're pushing hard for an agreement that does not include binding targets, which are kind of the heart of the agreement, so we're looking for something that is not binding in that regard. >> so something that is not legally binding. if there are parts that are legally binding would you submit that part? >> senator, it depends entirely on -- it depends actually on a lot of factors. the content and what provisions are and are not binding is one of those issues. existing u.s. law is another
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issue. other authorities and relevant past practice are other issues. so we will evaluate this in such time as we have an agreement and then we will act, as i say, according to law. >> because that gets into the issue of future administrations or congress would be bound by such a commitment. so i wonder if the president signs a unilateral political commitment or agreement in paris at the end of the year without consulting congress, what effect the agreement would have domestically and whether it holds up long term. >> i would say two things, mr. chairman, certainly there's no question that congress should be consulted. we have been up here briefing different members and staff all during this year and will certainly continue that before and after the paris negotiations, so that goes without saying. with respect to whether an agreement that is not legally blinding is -- has meaning, look, there is a long standing practice in the united states to
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do all manner of agreements sometimes quite sensitive sometimes quite high profile via executive agreements or non-legally binding arrangements. and it is the practice of both sides of the aisle to respect what has happened and to abide by the political commitments that are made by previous administrations. that's true whether the previous administration was a republican, one being succeeded by a democratic one, or vice versa. so i think that that practice certainly should continue, but whether you're talking about the atlantic charter or the helsinki accords or any number of nuclear arrangements, the notion of
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agreements being entered into in some form other than advice and consent is quite common. >> just -- when you talk about congress being briefed, there's a difference between that and being consulted. i think both of us on both sides of the aisle would agree that over the years with different administrations huge difference between being brief and consulted. if the president signs on to this paris agreement at the end of this year and the courts rule that the clean power plant is illegal, would the united states be able to reach the goal of its intended nationally determined contribution or its indc? i'm trying to figure out how to resolve a commitment dependent upon the implementation of an unauthorized regulatory action like the clean power plan which the court may rule to be illegal. >> well, mr. chairman, we have a good deal of confidence that the clean power plan is very solidly grounded in law and grounded in first instance grounded in supreme court law. we now that there will be legal challenges.
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there's never -- there's never a significant epa regulation where there are not significant challenges and we -- i won't speculate about what would happen in a situation that we don't contemplate. >> my final question and i'll turn to my colleagues. in november of 2014 president obama pledged $3 billion for a brand-new green climate fund. it was a unilateral decision by the president without the buy-in or support from congress. international climate change funding may be the top priority for the president, but i will tell you it isn't the top priority for the american public. our nation is facing a tight budget environment. we need to focus on humanitarian assistance, democracy promotion, embassy security measures, countering global terrorist threats. will other countries back out of the negotiations without the administration paying these u.s. taxpayer dollars in the form of climate reparations? >> well, let me make a few comments about that and on the
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subject of climate reparations i might just call your attention to -- i could call your attention to the opening press conference in kyoto -- i mean copenhagen in 2009 where i was asked whether the united states -- i was asked whether the united states would be supportive of that in particular and i answered very emphatically that we didn't -- that we rejected the idea. so -- but let me get back to the broader question of the green climate fund. first of all i think that this honestly should not be a partisan issue. the green climate funtd -- fund is in essence a successor of the clean investment funds that president bush started in 2008. president bush committed to $2 billion over three years. we have put forward a pledge of $3 billion over four years. seven years later that's very,
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very consistent in quality and in quantity. i think that president bush saw this kind of assistance to developing countries to do real stuff. this is not -- what the climate investment funds have done has been to build clean energy infrastructure in developing countries and i think that they concluded that it would be good politics, good diplomacy and good economics and we agree. the green climate fund is a kind of successor to that so i don't think we're off on some old toot doing this. i think this is a solid and responsible thing to do and i would also say that we don't see assistance to developing countries with respect to climate change as being any kind of an either/or as between the investments that should be made in the united states and what should be done abroad.
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it is part of a long bipartisan tradition that foreign assistance is provided by to help prevent instability and protect national security and expand market access. on the climate front it does all of those things as well as also shoring up food security and health and poverty reduction and the like, so i think all of these things are in the u.s. interest diplomatically and economically as well. and the last thing i would say is that the amount the united states has put forward -- you hear $100 billion and you think a huge number. the amount that the united states has put forward both from appropriated funds and from funds that opec has provided has been in the range of about $2.5
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billion, and the overall $100 billion comes from a lot of different sources, the world bank, multilateral bank, development finance institutions around the world, public, private, and so forth. a recent report was issued by the oecd which indicated that we are so far at about $62 billion based on 2014 numbers. and with additional pledges that where made my france, germany, u.k., and some of the multilateral development banks indicated that we are real into the 80s with probably the u.s. amount i already told you. i don't think this is a huge problem. >> senator udall? >> i yield my time to senator boxer. >> and mr. chairman, here we are again. we have two different venues where we can argue about climate. [ laughter ] and always very pleasant. we're friends.
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but here we go. i continue to be perplexed by those who wish to obstruct action to reduce carbon pollution. some are deniers, and we've been through there before. they say they're not scientists and i would agree with them. they ought to be listening to the 97%, 98% of scientists who tell us human action and activities is causing too much carbon pollution. and some just don't seem to grasp the incredible advantages that we have in moving toward clean energy and i'm not going to go into it because we're not the environment and public works committee and it's not about public health, but it's so clear that when we do this we also create a tremendous number of jobs that cannot be exported out
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of this country. you'd have to have very long arms to have someone in china putting on a rooftop, a solar rooftop. the fact is, these are good paying jobs and the proof is in the pudding in our state which is on path to cut emissions. by the way, that's california. on a path to cut emissions 80% by 2050 during the first year and a half of california's cap and trade program, the state added -- listen to this -- 491,000. a growth of 3.3%. and we have the tenth cheapest electricity costs in the nation. so it's the right thing to do. america's always been a leader on every issue and i agree with you, mr. stern, this is not an option. we need to lead on this and to say let's wait until china leads, i'm not waiting for china to lead on anything, frankly. i have much more faith in our systems here and our commitments here to the right thing. i want to thank you for your work on this.
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i've had the opportunity to talk with you several times. i think that our resolve that's going on here has brought others to the table. par paris offers an important opportunity to reach global agreements, and my own view is that the reason we've been able to make so many strides, even with the obstruction in congress -- congress is the only place that doesn't seem to want to do something, it seems, is because of the clean air act, the supreme court upholding the fact that, yes, carbon emissions are covered and the president of
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the united states. who has taken jabs every single day and still understands this question. so i want to talk to you about developing countries because it's always a problem. people say, oh, the developing countries doing anything. are developing countries submitting the indcs with firm commitments to reduce carbon collusion? senator, first of all, i want to thank you for your consistent leadership on this issue this year and throughout the year so appreciate that very, very much. yes, developing countries are submitting indcs to limit their -- cut their greenhouse gas emissions. we have 152 total indcs that have been submitted. i believe it's around 110 or 112 from developing countries, which is an extraordinary thing as compared to the history we've come from. >> let me follow that up. i know that developing countries are -- mexico and south korea are considered developing countries. and i know that they have made significant pledges to reduce carbon pollution. can you explain why these countries see it in their
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self-interest to reduce carbon pollution? >> sure, senator, i think it's for a few reasons. first of all, people all over the world see climate change as a serious threat. it's having impacts all over the world, whether it's in the form of droughts or floods or huge stor storms, stress on their water supplies, fires, just a whole panoply of issues and countries see that. that's one thing. the second thing is the international negotiation is also a very useful tool to bring countries into a place of wanting to take action and of wanting to take ambitious action,maybe even more so than they would have thought at the beginning. >> so you think they see the damage that can be done? there's a movie out called --
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it's a really old movie, "climate refugees." it's a documentary that was done and i tell you, mr. chairman, it's stunning to see already some of the island nations that are essentially losing -- people are losing their homes. losing the place of their birth and for generations. mr. stern, some have criticized china's 2030 carbon pollution pledge, claiming it means the country don't have to do anything for 15 years. do you agree with that? >> no, i emphatically don't agree with it. the targets that china agreed to with president obama in the joint announcement last year are quite significant targets. first of all, they agreed to peak in 2030 or earlier, and they also agreed -- a very important second piece of this is to get 20% of their energy mix from non-fossil sources. that's a pledge that will
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require them to build in the order of 900 gigawatts of renewable energy, non-fossil energy between now and 2030. compare that to the fact that the entire united states system is 1,100. so they have agreed to build 900 non-fossil. so they have got to start now. you can't turn an ocean liner around on a dime. they've got to do big things. they have to start now and they're going to do that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, senator udall, for your generosity and thank you. >> thank you, senator boxer. senator markey? >> thank you, mr. chairman, very much. mr. stern, did the united states join the u.n. framework convention on climate change in 1992 after the senate ratified that treaty? >> yes, senator. >> are you negotiating this agreement under that framework? >> we are, senator, explicitly so. >> so there is an existing treaty, you're negotiating under that treaty which is an authority which congress gave to
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you and i just think we should make that clear. you're not in violation of any historical precedent. it's something that we want you to do, and it is something that the congress passed. this foreign relations committee had to pass it first. now, what i hear in the voice of those who object to this agreement is this -- that we may not meet those goals, and of course that's a very pessimistic way of viewing what is unfolding here in the united states. we're going to pledge we will reduce our greenhouse gases by 26% to 28% by the year 2025. we're on pace right now to reduce our greenhouse gases by 17% by the year 2020. so we're well on our way towards
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this goal of 26% to 28%. now, the hypothesis that the chairman is making is that you can't rely upon congress or you can't rely upon america to uphold its commitments so to the extent to which the president has propounded a new law, the clean power plant rule that will reduce greenhouse gases by 32% by the year 2030 in your utility sector there's no question that the chairman and others in the senate and the house, they can try to overturn that but right now it's the law of the united states and the president is making a commitment based upon that law. it's on the books. secondly, the president propounded a new fuel economy standard for the vehicles that
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we drive which hits 54.5 miles per gallon by the year 2025. it's the law in the united states. it's not going to stop members of this panel on the senate for trying to overturn the law but the president is making this commitment to the world based upon the law. we only installed 70 megawatts of solar in the united states in 2005. last year we installed 7,000 megawatts, not 20. and between 2015 and 2016 we're going to install 20,000 megawatts of solar. the price is collapsing. the same thing is true for wind. and so what we now have is 6% of all electricity coming from wind and solar in the united states in 2005, it was 1%. we keep on this pathway and we
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keep the state renewable electricity standards on the books, we keep the tax breaks on the books as law, we'll be at 15% to 20% renewable electricity by the year 2025 unless people work hard to repeal the law that the president is operating under. so the chairman is right. there is always within our constitutional system an ability to overturn what is existing law, but there's nothing the president is doing which is not consistent with the law which we have and if those laws stay on the books, this goal will be met. so there are climate deniers. there are those that obviously don't want to see this goal met, that would be principally the fossil fuel industry. but under existing laws the president is making a commitment which is completely and totally achievable and legal.
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now i think it's interesting for us to then move to what's the assessment which the chinese or the indians have made with regard to this commitment made by the united states. so it's my understanding that two weeks ago, three weeks ago when the chinese president was in town that he committed to installing as much clean energy, renewable energy, by the year 2030 as all of the existing electricity capacity in the united states today combined. now that's a response. and then in turn, the indians then had to respond to the united states and china and they made a very huge commitment. can you talk about that and the impact the united states is having as a leader in showing
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that you can do it in terms of unleash i unleashing of new technology around the world, especially in the areas that people were most concerned about, that weren't, in fact, meeting their obligations, countries like china and india and others? >> thank you very much, senator and, again, thank you very much for your historic leadership on this issue. i've known you for a long time and it's been tremendously impressive. the u.s. role, what the president has been leading this administration on has had tremendous impact, i think, with respect to other countries and china -- the agreement that you cited dates to the joint announcement from last year and then again reaffirmed and extended by the joint statement this year. hugely important. in india prime minister modi has made a pledge for -- to build 175 gigawatts of renewable energy. that's a gargantuan amount for
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india and to do it by 2022. 100 from solar, 60 from wind and 15 from other renewable sources so a tremendous amount. again, i think very much -- >> to put it another way, that would be equal to the entire installed nuclear energy capacity in the united states today and they're going to do that in renewables. >> right, and i think you see countries, whether it's brazil or mexico or others also inspired by what the united states is doing so i think it's had a very, very important impact. >> thank you. and i just want to thank you. your work is going to go down in history. paris is i think on track to be a big success and much of it is due to the incredible skill and leadership that you brought to it. thank you. >> senator murphy? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. there are a lot of scary moments when you're a new parent. first trip to the e.r., first day of school.
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but for me i rank up there as one of the scariest moments as a young parent the day that i learned the waxman markey bill was not going to be called up for debate in the senate, thus effectively ending for the time being congress' participation in this exercise that as i think senator boxer pointed out everyone in this world has been engaged in in the private and public sector. the idea that the body that i sat in wasn't going to do anything about the fact that by the end of the century at a moment when i hope either or
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both my 3-year-old and 7-year-old are going to still be on this earth, global temperatures will be six to ten degrees higher, sea levels will be 7 to 23 inches higher, as many as a million species on the planet today when they're 3 and 7 that won't be on the plan ent in their final days of life. that was a scary day. but i took some solace because the primary argument that i heard from opponents of the united states congress' unilateral action was that we shouldn't move forward on something as ambitious as
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waxma waxman-markey in the absence of serious commitments from developing nations. it was in part an invitation for this vexing catastrophic global problem to be solved at the paris negotiating table. and now it seems as if opponents are back to the same old game, do everything they can to undermine these negotiations as well, and so i'm so grateful for your work, your team's work, and i think you have done an amazing job to set the platform for success but remain as scared as i was back in those fateful days of 2009/2010. mr. stern, i want to just talk to you about what yard stakes we should use to measure the success of the talks. the president has been open already that we're probably not going to be able to get enough commitments, binding or non-binding, in order to hit that two degree celsius mark
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that has been our standard in many of our conversations over the last few years. what should we use as a measurement of whether these talks have been successful if it's not two degrees celsius number? >> thank you very much, senator. i would say two things. first of all as a broad structural comment, it will be enormously important for us to achieve an agreement that is ambitious and durable, transparent, that moves beyond the old firewall we've been talking about between developed and developing countries, that elevates the important of adaptation and resilience which this agreement is going to do and in general advances us toward the global transition to low carbon and resilient economies. with respect to the specific of two degrees i would say this. i agree with what the president has said, we're not going to be all the way there yet. but two things to keep in mind. first of all, according to one of the most reliable analysts of what we stand with respect to the temperature goal, carbon -- the climate action tracker, they came out recently with an analysis that says as compared to last year, go back one year their assessment was we were on track for 3.5 or 3.6 degrees. now on the basis of the indcs, the target now, the new number this month is 2.7.
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2.7 is not two, but that's a powerful move in the right direction, more than halfway in the right direction. so that's step one. the second point is we are looking at ambition as essentially a five-part package. the first is the initial indcs need to be as strong as possible and i just referenced what climate tracker -- how the climate tracker looked at them. second we've argued that the agreement has to include success periods to update and strengthen and ratchet up ambition over time. we would like to see those every five years. it's important that successive rounds be included. third, we have supported a proposal that calls on countries to put forward what we might call white papers. not commitments but an outline, a strategy on how you would reach deeper level of reductions by mid century. and, fourth, a long-term goal by the end of the century, the
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course of the century, for deep decarbonization. and then the fifth element is the non-state actor arena which the french have been quite freque frequently -- correctly and we also have had collaborative action among countries. all of those things are part of what the french are referring to as pillar 4 but it's basically non-state actor activity. if you put those together, that's a package that i think is the best answer we can give for ambition, not as far as we can get, but a big step already and then these other elements. >> mr. chairman, i thank you for having this hearing today. i want to make one final comment which is to build on another by senator markey about the commitments in law that have been made at the federal level. i'd also note there are a lot of commitments in law being made at the state and regional level as
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well that are serious and have enough history behind them to tell us what happens when you make a real commitment to reducing carbon. connecticut is part of the regional greenhouse gas trading program called reggie. and we've been in this for long enough to have some really good data as to what it means when you make a commitment to reduce carbon. it's pretty miraculous what's happened since we've entered into the agreement. we've cut carbon from 133 million tons to 86 million tons. that's a 30% there or about reduction in carbon. but here's the real story. independent economic analysis shows that during that same time, because of that investment in clean energy, we added 1400 new jobs to the region during that period of time and maybe most impressively reduced the
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cost of electricity and heating for consumers by $460 million. why? because we took the vast majority of that money and put it right back into energy efficiency. so we helped individuals use less, find more cost-effective means of heating their homes, and providing electricity. we got a triple whammy. we created jobs, we reduced costs and carbon and this isn't guess work any longer. it isn't theoretical. we're doing in the the northeast. we have the practical results to show what happens when you make these commitments. thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. stern. >> thank you senator murphy. senator kaine? >> thank you. mr. chair and to you, mr. stern. my understanding is there's an independent report out from the oecd about the compliance with goals set out in copenhagen in 2009 and that the report indicates that the developed world is well on its way toward meeting those obligations.
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do you read the report the same way? >> thanks, very much, senator. yes, i do. the specifics -- the specific focus of that oecd report is on the joint donor pledge to mobilize $100 billion a year from all sources, public, private, carbon markets, etc., by 2020 and the oecd report showed based on not even all the information yet but based on most of the information they have that we are at about $62 billion as of 2014. probably a few billion more will be added when they get everything counted. and then on top of that there have been some new pledges made by the u.k., france, germany, asian development bank, the world bank which totalled together will probably add perhaps $20 billion more on top of that over the course of the next few years so if you think about this as a 2020 pledge, we're probably at least in the
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mid 80s based on where we can see things right now and maybe even more than that and there's still six years to go, so that was encouraging. >> that bodes well. in addition to the climate finance goals of developed nation, copenhagen involved the u.s. making commitments as well. talk about how the u.s. has achieved on its own path toward the emissions goals that we embraced in copenhagen. >> sure. thank you, senator. we're doing quite well. the president has put in place a whole raft of actions under the climate action plan he announced in 2013 and some of those are actually -- predated that. the fuel economy standards senator markey referred to earlier were at the time referred to -- i still recall from an environmental activist,
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often a critic of the administration actually, said that that action back then was the sing biggest action taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than any country had ever taken. that was in the first term. now you have the clean power plant, heavy-duty vehicle standards. you have probably more than two dozen, somewhere between two and three dozen appliance standards that the department of energy has issued. all the building and appliances and equipment that are on buildings we have a methane strategy which includes mandatory methane actions to make some significant reductions of methane in the oil and gas and landfill sectors. we are also trying to implement a broader amendment that comes under the montreal protocol, different treaty. so the president is acting
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across the board both in service of meeting that 17% target and also to set us up for being able to meet the 2025 target both. >> you have been involved in this process since 2009. my understanding is that there are about 150 pre-paris climate pledges that have been made. how does that level of pledge before the meeting compare to kind of past meetings? >> well, it's extraordinary, senator. this is part of a result of structures that we proposed and got a great deal of support for. so the basic underpinning is that we proposed the structure of this new agreement was going
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to have nationally determined commitments, not that you couldn't negotiate -- >> top down. >> have countries now they were going to be scrutinized by other countries, by the press -- >> so you have competition. >> so you've had this drum beat of submissions of the 152 so-called indcs and there's never been anything like that before. go back to kyoto, there was no expectation, not only no expectation, but developing countries flatly were not expected to do anything. even if you go back to 2009 in copenhagen there were a number of developing countries came forward but, a, after the fact in most cases and, b, it was about 40 or 45 developing countries at that time.
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we have about 110 developing countries right now and all of the developed countries. >> last question i want to ask you is about the clean power plant. i support the president's plan. i've spent a lot of time digging into its effect on virginia. the virginia government and governor and others are strongly in support of it. the reason i like it and i want ewe to analogize this to hopefully what we would see coming out of paris, t -- the cn power plan is not one size fits all, so states are treated differently depending upon where
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they start from, what their particular mix of fuel production is so the goals are not one sized fits all and how the goals are met are flexible to enable local initiative and creativity. so to me those are salutary. analogize that to what you hope to see come out of paris. >> i think it's right on point because the whole idea of a nationally determined contribution in the lingo of the negotiations is that each country will have to decide based on its open circumstances, its own capabilities, hopefully with as much salutary pressure as possible to do your best, but each country would have to make the decision about what to it and how do it. and it goes for developed countries as well as developing. but even developing countries trying to reassure that they can take on the fight for climate change without imperilling their own priorities for development and growth and the eradication of poverty. so that flexibility is absolutely essential and is really in some sense the sco
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score -- core of our approach. >> thank you very much. thank you for holding this hearing and mr. stern for your hard work and creativity in pursuing such an important global goal. let me start i think in some ways where senator kaine was pursuing a conversation about some limitations of previous agreements and how this hoped for agreement will succeed where others had some challenges. kyoto really did not envision a comparable framework for developed and developing countries. at the united nations last month, new sustainable development goals were announced. calls for all nations to take urgent action to combat climate change. so talk to me how we will incentivize developing countries. i think the agreement with china and the trajectory we have going into paris with china is very encouraging. but tell me how you think we will incentivize that and how that will make a difference in this round of climate negotiations.
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>> thank you, senator. look, i think that there are a number of ways to think about this. one of the things that is -- or one of the areas that we think are important in this regard has to do with the whole way in which financial assistance is provided. and what we have said is that there really needs to be in essence a partnership between all countries. that there needs to be a shared effort among countries so that, yes, many developing countries, not all, but many of them do need some assistance, but they also have to bring their own action to the table. so if you look at the kind of provisions that were in the financing for development negotiation that just finished in july, it talked about not just the importance of countries in getting some assistance, but the importance for those countries to mobilize their own domestic resources, the importance for those countries
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to build the enabling and investment environments within their countries so that there's a pull for investment to come in. we've seen this happen in any number of developing countries with extraordinarily positive impact. the most recent case is nicaragua which decided just a few years ago i think around 2010 or so that the power they were getting was too expensive. that they were going to make a move by putting in place some regulatory measures that would open the door, that they were going to make a move toward renewable energy. they have had an explosion of renewable energy and well over a billion dollars of foreign investment come into to build it. and you can see that in morocco, malaysia, and the philippines. we're trying to spread that message to developing countries so that you can get investment, but don't look at this all in
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the sense of -- in the context of government grants. that's just a small piece of what should be the total. let's take care of your own situation and let's have assistance where needed, technical assistance, to get the regulatory environment and such right and then you can bring in bigger amounts of money by attracting it. >> so let me follow up on that. we've been presented at times with a picture of a competing choice between sustained economic development and reduction in carbon footprint. can we curb carbon emissions without having a negative economic impact? can we provide access to electricity for millions more people without sacrificing our work to improve the trajectory of climate change and if you would, reference the summit that happened at the white house yesterday. i was excited to see that more than 80 companies operating in
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all 50 states employing more than 9 million people made pledges of their own to take their own steps to improve their sustainability, reduce their carbon footprint or increase their investment in sustainable financing as part of the lead-up to negotiations. does the private sector agree that we can both improve the trajectory of climate change and continue with economic growth? >> thank you, senator. well, i think absolutely. let me make a quick comment. first of all, the answer has to be yes. you can't expect countries to go backwards with respect to their own economic development. the two things can go together. my office started a program together with opec a few years ago called the africa clean energy facility and through that program, we have provided a
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a small amount of money from my office to go with what opec can do and now there are a few dozen projects under way. there was a problem of projects not being able to get going just for a lack of seed money. those are all projects designed to help provide power but in a clean way, but i think really about $20 million from my office joined with opec money of about $40 million. i agree with you about the event yesterday at the white house. we have been working hard to communicate with and bring in corporate participation. and i think companies do see this. you've got 81 companies now who have signed up for this particular pledge, but a great, great many more in the united states and around the world who see that climate change is real and we've got to act on it.
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i forget which, but one of our colleagues referenced pledge by ten of the biggest oil companies in the world to support paris and to support the goal of two degrees. people who are fact based fundamentally, it's the military, the intelligence community, ceos, if you're fact based, you're going to see that actions got to get taken. >> in my home state of delaware, i've been stuck in meetings where a whole series of ceos where their companies have already taken steps and they have achieved bottom line results that matter for their shareholders and their companies in addition to a positive public benefit. my last question is i'm from the state with the lowest mean elevation in america. so others are swampier, but ours is flatter. between natural subsidence and
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sea level rise, we're seeing lot -- loss of coastal habitat. i think virtually every american coastal state is seeing the impact of climate change faster. islands nations are even more at risk than we are. so if you'd give a comment big picture, why does it matter to states like mine that we make progress in paris? >> it matters enormously. i heard john holdren my friend and colleague at the white house yesterday talking about what we could face if we don't do the right thing and it could be many feet, many feet, of sea level rise by the end of this century. paris is important because there is action important at all different levels. you need at the local, the state level, the national level. you need action in civil society and among governments. but it is enormously important for all of those areas and the
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private sector of course to get a signal that the leaders of the world get it, that the countries of the world are taking action together, that the countries that have the confidence that they can act because they see that their competitors and partners are also doing it. as people say, for years we've said how are we supposed to act if china and others aren't. that's part of what an international agreement is supposed to do, to give confidence to countries to act and send a signal to everybody below the international level that what they're doing is in the right direction and to spur and accelerate the action that would otherwise be taken. >> thank you, mr. stern. >> senator udall. >> thank you chairman barrasso. one of the things i think, mr. stern, that i'm really impressed with what you've done is gone and tried to learn from kyoto.
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you have tried to take in account what republicans and democrats said as a result of kyoto and one of the big concerns for many republicans has been that there should not be an international agreement that imposes climate action on the united states beyond what the u.s. already plans. beyond what we have in law. do you expect the paris agreement will obligate the united states to meet an emissions target that goes beyond what the united states has already pledged? >> no, i don't, senator. >> and another big ask from republicans is enforcement should not be left up to the united nations, that black helicopters shouldn't pounce on the united states if commitments are not met. do you expect the paris agreement will include compliance penalties, sanctions or other external enforcement on the united states? and i think the key word there is other external enforcement on the united states. >> that's not part of the discussion, no.
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>> and republicans have long decried any international agreements on climate change that do not conclude meaningful action on climate change from developing countries. do you enviesion the paris agreement will include meaningful commitments from developing countries? >> absolutely. >> and since i think you're at about the estimate now is about 150 countries, so obviously many developing countries. in your opinion, is it a significant commitment that these developing countries are making in terms of trying to tackle this difficult, difficult issue? >> yes, senator. >> so my opinion is that you've been very responsive in terms of trying to pull people together and looking at what happened the last time around and coming up with something that is very solid. and i thank you for that. now, i mentioned earlier about
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business support and we're seeing an outpouring of support among business leaders from all sectors of the economy for a strong agreement. and mr. chairman, i'd like to put in the record here -- this is a in support of paris agreement letter from major companies. and just read one -- with your permission, mr. chairman -- >> without objection, yes. >> and this -- they say a new climate agreement in paris can help strengthen the role of and minimize risk to the private sector in a number of ways. and this is just one little part here. providing long-term direction. i think that's absolutely crucial. and aim of progressively decarbonizing the global economy can provide a clear signal to markets to shift long-term investments towards energy efficiency and other lower carbon alternatives. this letter signed by companies that we all know, these are
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major companies, alkoa, bhp billington, bp itself, intel, bp&e, rio tinto, shell, siemens cooperation. these are major corporations that have stepped forward and said this would be very helpful. now recently ceos of the top u.s.-branded food companies like general mills, kellogg, nestle and others called on political leaders to take decisive action and clear achievable measurable science-based targets for carbon emission reductions. major companies are calling for action from some of our political leaders to continue the strong climate action, that it's a threat to economic
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well-being. have you been engaging directly with business leaders in this process? why do these companies say that we need a robust agreement in paris and why do you think they will continue to thrive as all the world's countries take action? >> yes, senator, i have been engaging with business and the white house is particularly active in this regard, as well. as has secretary kerry. but i think again, i think for those who -- business leaders live in a fact-based world. and it's not a matter of ideology. they can look at what is happening. you can look at both the theory and the evidence of what is happening with respect to climate change. and i think that it is useful for -- in the eyes of many to start to put together a regime that is predictable and understandable and points, as you said, the direction in a long-term way to give guidance
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to the sorts of things that they need to do. i think business -- again, business likes facts and businesses like predictability. and so obviously this is not universal. there's some businesses who don't agree, but more and more you see this kind of thing, that businesses support action, they can see that we're in big trouble if we don't act and it's better to act now. if my understanding from numbers that i've seen recently, for every decade that we wait, the cost of taking action goes up by about 40%. so it's better to get going. >> and those estimates you're talking about are in the billions and trillions when you're talking about estimates going up, right? >> yes, yes, yes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. appreciate it. >> thank you very much, senator udall. mr. stern, during a hearing july
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8, experts testified that even under the best of circumstances, it was unclear how the president could make good on his pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 26% % to 28% by 2025. so where does this 26% to 28% come from and can the united states meet the administration's pledge under the current law? >> thank you, mr. chairman. the number came from analysis of the various authorities that we have, authorities that are based on the clean air act, energy policy act, energy independence and security act, existing authorities that had already been provided by the congress. there was an analysis of completed action such as the fuel economy standards for light and heavy-duty vehicles, the appliance standards i referred to earlier, building codes and the like. there was analysis of pending rule makings at the time like
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the clean power plant, further heavy-duty vehicle and pliens standards, new action being taken on methane and hfcs and so forth, as well as the federal government's own executive order. there were then -- there are still additional elements of the package that include actions by the u.s. forest service and others to improve what's called a carbon sink provided by forest and grasslands. there's a whole set of voluntary actions being led by the department of agriculture. and there are also state policies that are part of the
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equation and market trends, things like the abundance of low-cost natural gas, which can substitute for coal in many cases. decline of costs at a more rapid rate than people anticipated. the possibility and indeed the reality increasingly of innovations in areas like electric vehicles and advanced manufacturing. so looking at all of the totality of co2 reducing activities under way, we determined that 26% to 28% was a number that made sense and that we could meet on the basis of existing authority. and i would point you, by the way, to an analysis that was done by one of the most respected environmental think tanks, the world resources
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institute, that has concluded the same thing and that target can be met. >> u.s. chamber of commerce found about a 33% gap in getting to this reduction. i want to get into the china and india concentration and the contributions of china and india. before expected china's emissions to peak around 2030. iea data shows china's intensity of emissions fell by 60% between 1990 and 2005, therefore a pledge to reduce intensity to 2030 just as a continuation of the existing trend. so not only does china get to continue business as usual and increase their emissions, the same is the situation in india.
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the economist said that the concessions made by the united states are more costly and more real than those in china. the india's prime minister has set a target of expanding by 8% a year. if it comes close to meeting that target, emissions will soar just as china's has done. the article went on to say with economic growth, india's total emissions of carbon dioxide would triple, triple, by 2030 from 1.7 billion tons in 2010 to 5.3 billion tons. india is on its way to becoming the biggest contributor to increases in greenhouse gases in 15 years. india's intended nationally determined contribution did not set a peak date for emissions, they will continue to go up. so considering that china and india's intended nationally
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determined contributions, will their greenhouse gas emissions be higher or lower than there are today? >> thank you, mr. chairman. so let me take china and india one at a time. >> will slowing the growth of l temperatures be achieved at all if all these major emitters are given a waiver, allowing them to continue to have higher emissions 15 years from now than they do today in spite of what the united states may or hmay nt do. >> we do not agree with that at all, that they have a waiver. what we see from china is the first-ever agreement to peak its emissions, which is a crucial step on the way to getting them to go down. we see that 20% promise to get 20% of their energy from non-fossil sources to be an enormous pledge. they're going to need to build
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900 gigawatts that compares to the electricity of the united states and more than the coal used in china today. so that is a huge, huge undertaking and will constrain what china's able to do in terms of their emissions. they've also agreed to a 60 to 65% improvement in the carbon intensity of their economy by 2030. so i think that what you will see, with respect to the china indc is that it is quite solid. that the climate tracker that i referenced earlier assesses china to be a quite solid indc. india, i think the strongest part of the indian pledge is to get 40% of their energy from non-fossil sources.
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40% of their electric power from non-fossil sources by 2030. the pledge to get 100 -- and part of that is their pledge to build 175 gigawatts of renewable energy, which for an economy the size of india is a vast undertaking. so i'm not here to defend every element of every country's indc. some are stronger than others. i think that the 40% non-fossil pledge for india is stronger than india's carbon intensity pledge for example. but that is a quite significant undertaking that india has proposed. >> you'd agree the total numbers are going up. the amount of emissions, in spite of what percentage is coming from the renewables, the pledge, that the numbers are still going to go up over the next 15 years, in spite of the fact that the united states has been coming down over the last 12 years. >> well, senator, if i may, the numbers are going down as compared to what the numbers
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would otherwise be doing. i mean, if you're -- >> no, no, they'll go up. >> if, if -- >> you can't dispute the fact that they're still going up. in spite of the fact that the united states are going down. >> it is also true that if you're an economy that's growing at 8% or 9% a year, it's pretty hard to say you have to slam on the brakes and go negative overnight. >> there are people in the united states who want our economy to come back and move up as well. the hearing was originally supposed to be a joint hearing with the senate environment public works committee. it was supposed to be a hearing where all the experts who have worked on the president's scleen power plan and the targets, the climate negotiations would all be in one place to answer our questions. i'm grateful that you're here today. the full committee, minority blocked that from happening. so, it's interesting when we asked the epa to testify, they
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insisted that they had no witnesses who could actually speak about these issues, which is astonishing, given what the epa does in the claims and listening to others, and i know you're from the state department, so appreciate you being here. they stated on october 13th, one week ago, the epa sent a letter to the environment and public works committee chairman who said, and the letter says i respectfully continue to assert that the agency does not have a witness, does not have a witness who can speak to the issues that are topics of this hearing. doesn't have a witness that can speak to the topics, this is despite the role the epa has played in developing the bulk negotiations that will meet any targets, the despite the fact that the administrator has played a role in the climate change conferences in the parks including lisa jackson, attending and delivering remarks at the u.n. copenhagen climate change conference from 2009. gina mccarthy and the epa have
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no idea about any of the topics of this hearing, yet i anticipate ms. mccarthy will be attending receptions in paris with international bureaucrats and statements, touting her regulations to anyone who will listen. so i'm grateful that you're here today. i think it's absurd that the head of the epa would say oh, no, there's nothing that we can add to this. so do you know of any plans that the epa has in joining with you as part of the official u.s. delegation to the paris climate change conference? because apparently they don't have anything to do with it or even know anything about it. >> mr. chairman, i am not aware at the moment of who from epa is coming. there's always an interagency group that goes to these cop meetings. >> so you admit that the epa will be represented there in spite of their inability to comment on this or attend a hearing. you're just not sure who from the epa. >> mr. chairman, i can't comment on today's hearing because i'm not -- >> i appreciate you being here,
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but there are obvious issues of the epa and their failure to be here. it's interesting, and i did hear some of my colleagues on the other side refer to reducing pollution. and i have another quote, this from gina mccarthy, the head of the epa. now she testified before the senate environment and public works committee in july of 2014, at a time when the democrats actually chaired the committee and were the majority in the senate, and she stated with regard to her existing power plant rule, which makes up a major part of the president's carbon reduction pledge, she said, quote, this is not about pollution control. but i heard my colleagues talking about this is about pollution. this is gina mccarthy, this is not about pollution control, but about increased efficiency at our plants. let's be clear with regard to the president's carbon reduction pledge, this is not about reducing pollution according to the epa. it's something else. senator udall? >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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i think that the first thing, and senator markey will also be able to speak to this, because he's on the committee, but i think there has been, the environment and public works committee, the, which has jurisdiction over the epa, this has been discussed with the chairman of the committee, chairman corker and our ranking member, ben carden. and it was agreed that this would be the format, and i really believe we have the best witness here to deal with what's going to happen in paris, because mr. stern started right at the very beginning of the obama administration. he's been on top of everything. he's been to all the negotiations. i mean, there couldn't be anybody that's more on top of what's happening on paris. and my understanding, epa, the environment and public works committee has done extensive hearings on the clean power plan and things like that. but i'm, and as you said, mr. chairman, you're happy to have
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him here today also, because i think he's the one that has the real facts on what's going on here. mr. stern, your testimony references the fact that these nationally-determined structure, you know, these indcs of the paris climate pledges actually led to countries submitting stronger climate pledges. can you tell us more about the benefits of this approach that you're engaging in? >> look, senator, i think that a couple of things. i think the fact that we proposed nationally-determined contributions as a structure allowed countries to get into a mode of trying to come forth, figure out what they could do, not simply be in a mode of opposition and fear about how they were going to be able to manage. so i think that's been
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important. i think that, i think that when countries see others acting, i think what, the most important thing that happened to kind of kick this process off, if you will, was the joint announcement between president obama and president obama xi last november. and their countries could see that here you had the two big classic antagonists, the countries that had been seen, and if you will, as the leaders of the two opposite, opposing camps coming together and saying this is what we're going to do and making significant pledges, both of them. i think that had a big impact on countries. we have, the united states has worked directly with some countrying to provide teies to assistance and how to provide stronger and stronger contributions. and i'm sure that that has been going on with our colleagues in europe, you know, working with other countries as well.
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so i think it's something that has fed on itself in a very kind of positive way. and i think, again, the, the sight, the tableau which was stunning to people seeing the president and president xi standing up really got this off to a got foot. >> thank you for that answer, and mr. stern, you've overseen this process since 2009. could you contrast the current scale of the pre-cop pledges to previous meetings. in particular, how does the number and scale of pre-paris pledges, my understanding 150 so far, compare with the level of effort in past agreements. so look, looking past and present. >> right, well, if you look back at copenhagen, there really weren't any pledges that were

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