As Democrats prepare to take the House Majority in January, three Democratic Committee leaders, whose committees have jurisdiction over climate change, announced today that their committees will hold a series of hearings over a two-day period early next year to assess the effects of climate change and the need for action.
The announcement was made by Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Natural Resources Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Science, Space and Technology Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX).
“Our rapidly changing climate, and the Trump administration’s efforts to take us in the wrong direction, seriously jeopardize our future,” Pallone, Grijalva and Johnson said. “We plan to hit the ground immediately with a series of hearings early in the next Congress on how best to combat this growing global crisis. Our committees plan to work closely together to aggressively assess the public health, economic and environmental impacts of climate change and to explore the best solutions to combat this challenge.”
While past Republican Congresses have long ignored climate change, Democrats will examine the threats identified in several recent landmark reports from the National Academies, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which detailed a risk of extreme crisis as early as 2040.  The Committees will also explore how other countries and state and local governments are addressing climate change at a time when the Trump administration has pulled out of the Paris Agreement and rolled back the Clean Power Plan.
The United Nations report released in October predicts severe ecological and economic disruption if countries do not adopt more aggressive action to curtail emissions.  The report detailed a risk of extreme crisis as early as 2040, including worsening wildfires, food shortages, and mass die-off of coral reefs, with estimated damage as high as $54 billion.