House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.,) asserted Monday, Dec. 2, at a United Nations climate summit that the United States is “still in” the climate change agreement while the Trump administration withdrew last month.
“By coming here we want to say to everyone we are still in, the United States is still in,” Pelosi told reporters on the first day of the two-week United Nations climate talks in Spain.
A delegation of 15 U.S. lawmakers, led by Speaker Pelosi, is participating the 2019 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Madrid.
“Our delegation is here to send a message that Congress’s commitment to take action on the climate crisis is iron clad,” Pelosi added.
The delegation of Democratic U.S. lawmakers included House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), House Science Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), Climate Crisis Committee Chairwoman Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), Natural Resources Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.). Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and nine other members of Congress..
“This climate action plan will be an extraordinary opportunity to really invest in the clean energy economy,” she said. “We will see in future years this transformation and opportunity.”
The administration last month formally pulled out from the 2015 Paris Agreement, over two years after President Trump announced his plan to do so. The president has criticized the nonbinding agreement, signed by 195 countries, saying other countries would benefit from the climate accord while the U.S. economy suffers. Wealthier countries such as the United States had pledged to assist financially struggling countries meet their greenhouse-gas emissions-reduction goals.
“What we won’t do is punish the American people while enriching foreign polluters,” Trump said in October.
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.
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.
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.