The Massachusetts House of Representatives wants to send a message to President Trump and Washington Republicans that even though the country has withdrawn from the Paris climate change agreement, the state will adhere to its principals.

The House easily passed a bill that would put the state in line with the emissions standards put forward by the Paris agreement by 2025.

But Lexington Sen. Michael Barrett, the Senate's energy committee chairman, says that Massachusetts law already says the state has to be near that level by 2020. Barrett says lawmakers need to set more aggressive goals for 2025 instead of stopping at the Paris-approved levels.

"Instead we risk celebrating an all too easy achievement of a 2025 goal, at least for Massachusetts, and if we do that, and pat ourselves on the back, we are going to miss a serious responsibility here," Barrett said.

The House bill, from Falmouth Democratic Rep. Dylan Fernandes, would put the Commonwealth on record as supporting the goals of the Paris accord and the work of international climate change scientists. Under the bill, the state would be obligated to meet or exceed the goals laid out in Paris.

"I think it's really important that states step up. You know, it's really important that Massachusetts sends a message to the rest of the nation but also the rest of the world that a handful of climate deniers down in Washington D.C. do not speak for the people of Massachusetts," Fernandes told WGBH last month when the bill was vetted by a special House task force charged with identifying state bills that could push back on Trump's agenda.

Massachusetts is already part of a compact with other states to uphold the Paris agreement. In August, Gov. Charlie Baker issued new environmental regulations that put Massachusetts on a path to achieving the goals set out under the state's 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act by 2020, five years before the Paris timeline would go into effect.

Changes in the executive branch, or a drastic about-face from Baker on the state's climate commitments, could reverse that path. With the Paris accord enshrined in state law, Massachusetts would at least be on the hook to meet similar goals by 2025.

Some environmental advocates on Beacon Hill appreciate the House's gesture, especially since Trump removed the country from the Paris deal. But they want more serious laws to govern emissions in the state.

Barrett was critical of Fernandes' bill, saying that the Senate may go beyond what the House has done and put in place much stricter emissions standards for 2025.

"It does, though, send a false signal, kind of misrepresents where we're at, does enable politicians who might be inclined to want to do this to pat themselves on the back far too easily before the 2018 elections," Barrett said.