H.R. 9 would prohibit funds from being authorized to be appropriated, obligated, or expended to take actions to withdraw the United States from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 21st Conference of Parties in Paris, France (known as the Paris Agreement). CBO estimates that the prohibition would have no significant effect on the federal budget because the costs to implement the withdrawal under the Paris Agreement would be negligible.
H.R. 9 also would require the President to develop a public plan for the United States to meet certain targets for greenhouse gas emissions as agreed to under the Paris Agreement and how the United States will confirm other parties to the Paris Agreement are fulfilling their targets. That plan would be updated annually. H.R. 9 does not require the United States to implement the plan nor prescribe the scope or level of detail required in the plan.
The costs to implement those provisions of H.R. 9 could vary significantly depending on the level of effort federal agencies would devote to prepare the required plan. Agencies could adapt previously developed plans to fulfill the bill’s requirements, such as those previously produced by the Department of State or Environmental Protection Agency in recent years. On the other hand, agencies may produce new plans that provide specific actions, policy recommendations, and regulatory and legislative proposals that also would fulfill the bill’s requirements. Based on information from the Administration, CBO estimates that agencies would expend minimal efforts to prepare the required plan at a cost of $1 million over the 2019-2024 period; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
On April 15, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, as ordered reported by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on April 9, 2019. The two bills are similar and CBO’s estimates of the budgetary effects are the same.