Pelosi leads CODEL to U.N. climate change conference

Speaker Pelosi brought together a congressional delegation (CODEL) of thirteen House members plus one U.S. Senator to travel to Madrid, Spain for the U.N. Climate Change Summit (COP 25). It’s not like they have anything else to do at the end of the year before Congress leaves for its long Christmas break, right?

The Speaker’s office released a statement as she headed out the door. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is the lone member of the Senate. The House members, besides Pelosi, are Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Committee on Energy and Commerce, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Committee on Science, Space, Technology, Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Committee on Natural Resources, Chairwoman Kathy Castor (D-FL), Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA), Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA), Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA), Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL), and Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO).

“It is a privilege to accompany a high-level Congressional delegation to Spain to combat the existential threat of our time: the climate crisis,” said Speaker Pelosi. “On behalf of the United States Congress, I extend my gratitude to the Spanish government for hosting this critical meeting, and for elevating the priority of the climate crisis to the forefront of the international conversation.”

“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,” Speaker Pelosi continued. “On behalf of the U.S. Congress, I am proud to travel to COP25 to reaffirm the commitment of the American people to combating the climate crisis.”

The last day of the session before Christmas break is December 12. USMCA (NAFTA 2), for example, awaits congressional action. Mexico ratified the agreement last June, and it appears that Justin Trudeau will ratify it on the Canadian side. It’s up to Congress now to finish the process. President Trump signed off on it last year. The agreement awaits a vote in the House.

COP 25 is a two-week conference, though there is no indication that Pelosi’s CODEL will remain for the entirety. As it kicked off Monday, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres dramatically declared “the point of no return is no longer over the horizon”. “It is in sight and hurtling towards us.” Ironically, he calls for hope over surrender. The conference is to bolster the 2015 Paris Accord agreement. As you know, President Trump has followed through on his campaign promise to take the U.S. out of the agreement. That process has begun. No more drilling, says Mr. Guterres.

Mr Guterres warned: “In the crucial 12 months ahead, it is essential that we secure more ambitious national commitments — particularly from the main emitters — to immediately start reducing greenhouse gas emissions at a pace consistent to reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.

“We simply have to stop digging and drilling and take advantage of the vast possibilities offered by renewable energy and nature-based solutions.”

Besides firming up the Paris agreement, leaders and delegates from about 200 countries hope to establish new international rules for emissions trading and agree on compensation (wealth redistribution) for poorer countries already affected by global warming. The pledges made under the Paris agreement are not enough, you see, and there is a need now for “transformational action”. Like other alarmists, Guterres lays the blame for sea-level rise, drought, and storms at the feet of a global climate crisis.

Spain’s president (the host country) made a not-so-veiled slam to President Trump. He wasn’t quite brave enough to actually use the president’s name, though. No doubt his remarks and those of Guterres speak to the tone of this conference.

“No one can independently pull out of this challenge,” Sanchez told delegates. “There is no wall high enough to protect any country from this challenge, however powerful they are.”

That fact is that the United States has cut levels of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases above what others have done. Just like the Kyoto Protocol during the Clinton administration, the Paris agreement was never submitted to Congress for ratification by the Obama administration. Democrat presidents commit the U.S. to these absurd international agreements yet are not bold enough to actually try to get Congress to sign off and ratify the agreements. This is why Trump can withdraw the United States from the Paris Accord.

Pelosi and her delegation have no authority to make any deals at the conference. They can meet with officials and pose for photo ops. It’s just another taxpayer-funded trip that will amount to nothing more than a wonky kind of vacation for lawmakers.

She can arrogantly declare “We’re still in it” all she wants. She’s not president, though, and the one we have says we’re not.

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