A delegation of 15 U.S. lawmakers, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), will join the 2019 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Madrid next week, the speaker’s office confirmed Saturday, Nov. 30.
All the delegates are congressional Democrats, from both the House and the Senate. They include:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Committee on Energy and Commerce
Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), Committee on Science, Space, Technology
Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Committee on Natural Resources
Chairwoman Kathy Castor (Fla.), Select Committee on the Climate Crisis
Rep. Betty McCollum (Minn.)
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (Ore.)
Rep. Julia Brownley (Calif.)
Rep. Jared Huffman (Calif.)
Rep. Scott Peters (Calif.)
Rep. Debbie Dingell (Mich.)
Rep. Mike Levin (Calif.)
Rep. Sean Casten (Ill.)
Rep. Joe Neguse (Colo.)
In a statement before the trip, Pelosi said it is a privilege for her to accompany the high-level congressional delegation to Spain to combat the climate crisis, which she described as “the existential threat of our time,” though climate change remains an issue of widespread debate among scientists.
“Taking action to protect our planet is a public health decision for clean air and clean water for our children, an economic decision for creating the green, good-paying jobs of the future, a national security decision to address resource competition and climate migration and also a moral decision to be good stewards of God’s creation and pass a sustainable, healthy planet to the next generation,” Pelosi added.
The summit, known as COP25, is scheduled to take place from Dec. 2 to Dec. 13, according to a U.N. announcement released on Nov. 29, which said a key objective of the event is to raise overall ambition by completing several key aspects with respect to the full operationalization of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
However, President Donald Trump’s administration formally notified the United Nations in early November that the United States will begin its withdrawal from the agreement, calling the deal an “unfair economic burden” to the U.S. economy.
President Trump has criticized the nonbinding agreement, which 195 countries signed in 2015, saying other countries benefit from the climate accord at the expense of the United States.
“Today we begin the formal process of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. The U.S. is proud of our record as a world leader in reducing all emissions, fostering resilience, growing our economy, and ensuring energy for our citizens. Ours is a realistic and pragmatic model,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced in a tweet on Nov. 4.
The State Department announced on Saturday. Nov. 30, that the Trump administration will continue to participate in COP25 to ensure a level playing field that protects U.S. interests, according to The Hill. Ambassador Marcia Bernicat, principal deputy assistant secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, would lead the U.S. delegation to the summit with other officials from multiple federal agencies and departments.
Pelosi’s choice to visit Madrid would indicate her work in Spain is more important than at home where President Trump and his Republican colleagues have been pressing her to focus on important issues such as passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade deal.
During the campaign rally in Florida on Nov. 26, President Trump again lashed out at Pelosi, saying “she doesn’t want to give the people of our country a victory” by approving the deal that is an “incredible agreement.”
“It’s one of the greatest deals ever… Canada and Mexico, they’ve been waiting for many months,” President Trump said, urging Pelosi to “put our country first.”