House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will head a delegation of 14 other Democrats to Madrid, Spain this week to attend the 2019 United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP25, her office announced in a press release Saturday.
Meanwhile, there are only seven voting days left until the House’s Christmas recess begins on Dec. 12, according to the New York Post. COP25 runs from Dec. 2–13, although it is not known how long Pelosi will be in Madrid.
“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 said, according to The Hill. She went on:
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.
President Donald Trump will also send a delegation to the conference, despite being in the process of pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord that was agreed to when Barack Obama was president. State Department Deputy Ambassador Marcia Bernicat will lead the Trump delegation.
Pelosi skips town for climate summit
Impeachment, federal budget appropriations, and the U.S.–Mexico–Canada trade treaty (USMCA) are some of the issues that Pelosi leaves behind while traveling to Spain this week. The House Judiciary Committee also has impeachment hearings scheduled for Wednesday under Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY).
Previously, Christmas was an unofficial deadline for a vote on articles of impeachment against Trump. Pelosi’s trip may be a way for Democrats to justify slowing down the timeline or taking more time to decide whether to put articles of impeachment forward at all.
Indeed, public opinion polls have shown that less than half of the voting public favors impeachment, and support has slipped even more since public hearings were held in November, so it makes sense that Pelosi might want to distance herself from the probe. The House speaker had said until recently that she didn’t want to pursue impeachment without bipartisan support, which is still lacking.
If public opinion doesn’t change soon, it’s possible that an impeachment of Trump could actually help him get re-elected in 2020, as well as help Republicans take over the House again. Such an outcome would be disastrous for Pelosi and could mean the end of her speakership.
Climate change and Trump
Meanwhile, the Trump administration has taken a conservative approach on climate change. In November, Vice President Mike Pence said Trump made the right decision in withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, according to The Hill, because it put an “unfair economic burden” on “American workers, businesses, and taxpayers,” Pence said.
For his part, Trump said he cares about the environment but doesn’t want the U.S. to have to shoulder an unfair amount of regulations compared to the rest of the world. Despite withdrawing from the Paris agreement, Trump has made a point to report that the U.S. is lowering its emissions voluntarily.
Rightly, Trump has pointed out that the U.S. has a much smaller population than China and India, which are exempt from many environmental restrictions because they are developing nations. Until these nations reduce their emissions, there’s only so much the U.S. can do, he reasons.
And it’s hard to argue with that logic.