November 21, Washington, DC – Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), co-author of the Green New Deal, introduced legislation today called the “Targeting Environmental and Climate Recklessness Act of 2019” that would allow the U.S. Government to impose sanctions on companies and individuals who recklessly worsen the climate crisis. Katie Redford, Director of EarthRights International, issued the following statement:

“We are in a crisis situation that requires urgent action and bold new ideas. Senator Markey changed the national climate debate when he and Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez introduced the Green New Deal, which provides a path to address U.S. emissions and a just transition to a low-carbon economy. Now, Senator Markey has introduced another bold idea, this time showing how to harness the power of U.S. foreign policy to help fight climate change.

“EarthRights is already working to hold corporations accountable for climate change in U.S. courts, suing them for harms to U.S. communities. This bill would provide important tools to hold corporations accountable for their actions around the world.

“Long-tested strategies to address other crises can also help solve the climate crisis. Communities have long used the courts to recover damages from those who harm them. Internationally, targeted U.S. government sanctions can also change the behavior of egregious climate offenders.

“At the moment, the United States is the world’s worst climate offender; we are not suggesting that other countries are primarily responsible for the problem. But U.S. foreign policy should be a part of our country’s comprehensive approach to climate change. We need to provide assistance for developing countries to preserve their forests and utilize clean energy. And, as a last resort, we need to have the possibility of sanctioning corporations that recklessly pursue profit at the expense of the future of humanity.

“Sanctions should never be used lightly, and should never be used to further impoverish the world’s poorest people. With the existential crisis of climate change, however, all tools need to be on the table.”

Contact: Kate Fried, EarthRights International
(202) 466.5188 x100