WASHINGTON (CBS19 NEWS) -- Nearly three dozen members of the U.S. Senate, including Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, have co-sponsored legislation for the United States to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

According to a release, the bill, introduced by Senator Tom Carper of Delaware, would put the U.S. on a path to achieve that goal. It's called the Clean Economy Act.

"It's past time we get serious about addressing climate change," said Kaine. "The EPA can and should work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at minimal costs, which will protect [the] environment and strengthen the economy."

The release adds that the world's leading scientists have warned that people must limit global climate change to an increase of no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

However, the United Nations' annual Emissions Gap Report also shows that collective global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not yet substantial enough for that.

This bill would direct the Environmental Protection Agency to use existing authorities to put the U.S. on the path to achieving net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.

Carper calls climate change the "greatest and gravest threat" to the planet, but he says that can be overcome by government-wide climate action by using tools and regulations the EPA already has.

The release says any plan the EPA develops would have to achieve rapid reductions at minimal costs, prioritize public health, and support a strong labor workforce. The agency would also be required to build upon existing state, local and private climate programs and set emission reduction targets for 2025, 2030 and 2040.