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USA: Massachusetts Senator introduces legislation to restrict access to US financial system for companies most responsible for exacerbating climate change

Official Portrait of U.S. Senator Ed Markey

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25 November 2019

Senate Democrat's bill would allow sanctions for 'egregious' actions causing climate change

Author: Justine Coleman, The Hill (USA)

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) proposed a bill Monday to allow more sanctions against foreign companies and individuals for “egregious behaviors” that contribute to climate change. 

The bill, titled the "Targeting Environmental and Climate Recklessness Act of 2019," would call the president to “prioritize action against, and deterrence of, egregious behaviors that undermine efforts” to stop climate change...

Markey's proposed bill would permit the president to remove companies’ and individuals’ access to U.S. financial institutions and block visa requests to push other countries to cooperate to combat global warming.

It would serve as an expansion of the Global Magnitsky Act, an anti-corruption bill used to sanction Russia and North Korea, to allow the sanctions to apply to climate change abuses, such as destroying rainforests or developing new coal plants.

“As we fight to enact a Green New Deal here at home, we must use all of the tools of our foreign policy to change the behavior of companies and individuals most responsible for exacerbating the climate crisis,” Markey said in statement. “This legislation would bring us closer to a complete U.S. global strategy that matches the magnitude of the climate crisis.”

The bill counters the Trump administration’s efforts to move away from climate-focused policy and asks the U.S. to follow through with its vow to provide $3 billion to the United Nations to help poorer countries survive without climate-damaging coal plants and to develop better infrastructure, txhe HuffPost reported

The bill is Markey’s most recent effort on climate change. The senator also authored the Green New Deal earlier this year. 

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25 November 2019

Senator Markey Introduces First of Its Kind Foreign Legislation to Deter Worst Cases of Reckless Climate Harm

Author: Senator Edward J. Markey (USA)

Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and chair of the Climate Change Task Force, introduced the Targeting Environmental and Climate Recklessness Act, legislation to restrict access to the U.S. financial system for those individuals and companies most responsible for exacerbating climate change. 

Because the United States already restricts financial access for foreign individuals and companies involved in unacceptable behavior including cybercrime, corruption, and wildlife trafficking, the same foreign policy tool should be one part of our comprehensive efforts to reduce the existential risk posed by climate change. Senator Markey’s legislation would provide discretionary authority to target specific foreign individuals and companies involved in, or providing financial support to, the most destructive of climate actions...

...“Climate change has disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable communities around the world, and targeted measures to deter recklessness climate pollution would help ensure that urgent efforts to mitigate climate risk do not worsen global inequality. This legislation would bring us closer to a complete U.S. global strategy that matches the magnitude of the climate crisis.”...

 “The United States is the world's largest climate offender, and as Senator Markey has recognized, our first priority needs to be addressing our own emissions and providing a just transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Katie Redford, Director, EarthRights International.  

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25 November 2019

Targeting Environmental and Climate Recklessness Act of 2019

Author: Senator Edward J. Markey (USA)

[Full text of the Bill]

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21 November 2019

Those Who Recklessly Destroy Our Climate Should Face Consequences

Author: EarthRights International

Senator Ed Markey (D-MA)...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.

“...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...."

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