Pelosi, D-Calif., hosted the virtual summit with her legislative leader counterparts from Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom. The purpose was to devise a strong international response to climate change, and address health and economic disparities.
“The climate crisis is the existential threat of our time, jeopardizing the health and well-being of every family in every community around the world,” Pelosi and the world leaders wrote in their joint declaration. “Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations in 2020 are among the highest averages ever recorded. The planet suffered through the second hottest year ever in 2019.”
“As the Earth heats up, climate-related impacts, including heat waves, hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, and flooding, are worsening,” they added.
Saturday’s summit was to include virtual appearances from U2’s Bono, the Dalai Lama, Jane Goodall, former Obama administration Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and former Secretary of State John Kerry.
In this Sept. 7 photo, a firetruck drives along state Highway 168 while battling the Creek Fire in the Shaver Lake community of Fresno County, Calif. A weekend wildfire east of Fresno exploded so fast that it trapped hundreds of holiday campers who were airlifted to safety in a dramatic rescue that strained the limits of two California National Guard helicopters. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)
Pelosi and her fellow legislative leaders agreed that climate change and the coronavirus pandemic require a robust government response as does environmental justice for economically vulnerable and frontline communities.
“Climate policy can end the perpetuation of systemic inequalities,” the leaders wrote in their joint statement.
Pelosi, who links the raging wildfires on the West Coast to climate change, already said she plans to make climate legislation an early agenda item if Joe Biden and Democrats win in November.
“It is absolutely a priority,” Pelosi said.