Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the United States “is still in” the fight against climate change despite U.S. President Donald Trump pulling the U.S. out of the 2015 Paris agreement.
Pelosi is leading a delegation of congressional Democrats to the 10-day climate conference in Madrid. She said they want to show that their presence means the U.S is not turning its back on a major threat to humanity.
Pelosi said several Democratically-led House committees are working on separate parts of what would be a broad climate change plan.
“This climate action plan will be an extraordinary opportunity to really invest in the clean energy economy,” Pelosi said.
Trump has called global warming a Chinese concocted hoax and said the 2015 Paris accord would hurt the U.S. economy
Trump began officially pulling the U.S. out of the agreement last month — a process that ends the day after the 2020 presidential election.
Several Democratic candidates say they would immediately reverse Trump's withdrawal the moment they take office.
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres opened the summit Monday by saying the Earth cannot wait any longer.
"Do we really want to be remembered as the generation that buried its head in the sand, that fiddled while the planet burned?" he asked.
He said world leaders can take one of two paths — "the path of surrender where we have sleepwalked past the point of no return" or “the path of hope ... resolve of sustainable solutions.”
The Madrid conference aims to tackle some of the unresolved issues from the 2015 Paris agreement, including carbon trading — an economic incentive to cut emissions.
A number of protesters amassed in Madrid, demanding less talk and stronger action to fight global warming.
The marchers heard from the old and young, including 8-year-old Licypriya Kangujam who came to the Spanish capital from India.
"I need to read my books. I have to play. I have to study. But our leaders have ruined all our childhood lives and our beautiful future ... I am demanding our honorable Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, and our MPs to pass the climate change law.”
The crowd burst into cheers and applause when Licypriya finished speaking.