Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi assured global leaders at the United Nations climate summit in Madrid Monday that Congress will continue pushing forward in the fight “to save the planet” despite President Trump’s official withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement last month.
“By coming here we want to say to everyone we are still in, the United States is still in,” Pelosi told reporters at the summit, according to a report from Reuters.
What are the details?
During her speech at the 2019 United Nations Climate Conference, Pelosi said, “this is a mission, this is a passion, this is a scientifically-based approach, to all that … We are here to say to all of you, on behalf of the House of Representatives and the Congress of the United States, ‘we’re still in it.'”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attended the opening of the U.N. conference on climate change in Madrid, pledging U.S. commitment to the fight against global warming. Pelosi said, “This is a mission and we are still in it.” #COP25 pic.twitter.com/uYwjjUld6w
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 2, 2019
Of course, Pelosi, by saying, “we are still in it,” is not specifically referencing the United States’ forgone involvement in the Paris climate agreement, but rather Congress’ involvement in climate change initiatives, in general.
However, it remains to be seen how exactly Congress, under Pelosi’s leadership, will continue to fight what Pelosi called “an existential threat to humanity” at the summit.
Pelosi likely hopes that President Trump’s successor will re-enter the United States into the Paris climate agreement, but did not specifically talk about the impeachment proceedings against the sitting president during her visit.
“We aren’t here to talk about impeachment of the president of the United States,” Pelosi said in response to a question from reporters. “We’re here to talk positively about our agenda to save the planet for future generations.”
President Trump began the formal withdrawal process from the Paris climate agreement in early November, a process that will finalize on Nov. 4, 2020, just one day after the presidential election.
The announcement came in a statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which lambasted the agreement’s disproportionate burden on the United States.
“President Trump made the decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement because of the unfair economic burden imposed on American workers, businesses, and taxpayers by U.S. pledges made under the Agreement,” the statement said. “The United States has reduced all types of emissions, even as we grow our economy and ensure our citizens’ access to affordable energy.”
In March of this year, Chair of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Florida) introduced the Climate Action Now Act (H.R. 9) to ensure that America would honor its Paris climate agreement commitments.
But, now that the United States has formally withdrawn, that mission is obsolete. According to Reuters, Castor now says the committee will soon put forward recommendations for a comprehensive climate change bill to “bring U.S. emissions to net zero by 2050.”
Author: Phil Shiver