Updated, 12:47 p.m., 12/2/19 with additional comments from Rep. Dingell
Even as President Trump has served notice that the United States is withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and a delegation of congressional Democrats had a very different message for the world at an international conference in Madrid.
“By coming here we want to say to everyone, ‘We’re still in,'” Pelosi said at a Monday press conference streamed online during the 2019 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25). “The United States is still in.”
Pelosi added that the “delegation is here to send a message of Congress’ commitment to take action on the climate crisis is ironclad. We must act because the climate crisis for us as a matter of public health — clean air, clean water for children’s survival — our economy, advancing green technologies, which will lift everyone up as we address income disparity in the world; national security combating extreme weather events and resource competition that drive migration; and are values of justice and equality and our moral responsibility.”
U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) at the press conference touted the work of former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State John Kerry at previous conferences and promised, “That America will be back.”
As the Advance previously reported, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) is part of the bicameral Democratic delegation traveling to the conference that begins Monday and lasts until Dec. 13.
Dingell said in a statement that there were “great meetings in Madrid with really thoughtful discussions. Our Congressional Delegation is sending a strong message that the U.S. is still committed to addressing climate change. We must be transformational, and all of us believe that everyone must be at table. Real and intense discussions on how to get there and what the right policies are.”
Dingell also wrote on Twitter Monday that “climate change is the most pressing issue of our time. The time to act is now.”
Alongside @SpeakerPelosi at the U.N. Climate Conference in Madrid, our message is clear: The United States is still in it.
Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time. The time to act is now. The future of our planet and future generations depends on it. pic.twitter.com/u4UildWW7b
— Rep. Debbie Dingell (@RepDebDingell) December 2, 2019
In May, the Democratic-led U.S. House passed legislation that would force the Trump administration to remain in the Paris agreement. Michigan’s delegation was split on party lines, with Dingell and the six other Democrats voting for it. The GOP-led U.S. Senate has not taken up the bill.
It was the first major climate change bill passed in the U.S. House in almost a decade. The chamber passed a sweeping cap-and-trade bill under the President Obama administration in 2009 before that effort died in the Senate.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also has signed an executive directive joining 19 governors who voluntarily agreed to cut their state’s greenhouse gas emissions to levels consistent with the 2016 Paris Climate Accords.
Dingell is a lead sponsor of a climate bill introduced last week that aims to achieve a 100% clean energy economy by 2050, which is not as ambitious as the Green New Deal that seeks to meet that goal by 2030. Other Michigan members of Congress on board with the new legislation are: U.S. Reps. Dan Kildee (D-Flint), Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly), Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield), Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.) and Haley Stevens (D-Rochester Hills).
Climate Crisis Committee Chair Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), who sponsored the May legislation, said at the news conference that the U.S. House will be tackling a broad climate change plan.
“This climate action plan will be an extraordinary opportunity to really invest in the clean energy economy. We will see in future years this transformation and opportunity,” she said.