“America is back,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told delegates at COP26 Tuesday as she and other Democratic members of Congress emphasized the United States’ reengagement on climate change. Pelosi and other lawmakers touted the recent passage of bipartisan infrastructure funding and suggested the passage of the Build Back Better Act, which includes $555 billion to promote clean energy and climate-friendly programs, is imminent.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged, however, “We have to draw down emissions in order to get credit for being committed on climate change, Rep. Sean Casten agreed, saying “the rest of the world is sitting there and saying, ‘We’ve heard this story before. Your words are beautiful but we’re watching your feet… All of us are going to be furious if the Senate drops the ball,” on the $1.85 trillion BBBA package.
Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez also addressed the disproportionate harm wrought by the climate crisis on women and girls. Speaking to reporters, Ocasio-Cortez addressed the “absolute and utter” crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women in the U.S. “Those missing and murdered and women oftentimes disappeared near fossil fuel extraction sites, and so its very important for us to very confidently identify where the climate crisis and fossil fuel extraction intersect with gender violence and sexual assault.” While there is a path forward in the U.S., she said, “similar injustices and patterns exist around the world and it’s very important that we call greater attention to that.”
Republicans at COP26
Some congressional Republicans are also in Glasgow, reportedly “not … just to drink,” but a new analysis of a plan announced by Republican senators, which they say would reduce carbon pollution by 40% by 2050 would only reduce carbon pollution by 14% at most. Even a generous interpretation of the plan achieves far less than the net-100% reductions scientists say are necessary by 2050 to avoid catastrophic destruction worldwide. (Washington Post $, New York Times $, Yahoo, The Hill, Reuters, E&E News, The Hill, Reuters; GOP Plan: E&E News; Gender and Indigenous women: (The National, The National)