Rep. Nancy Pelosi is Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives - US Congress
"Good morning, everyone. Thank you, Mr. Markey, for your great leadership and for your very, very generous introduction. I accept your recognition of the work that we did on climate and energy on behalf of many courageous Members – in a bipartisan way – in the House of Representatives. And I thank you for leading the way for all of us.
I'm honored to be here with so many distinguished visitors from 66 nations. When Lord Deben came back from the podium, I said: 'You give us hope. You give us hope.' Thank you so much for your ongoing leadership. When we visited – Mr. Markey's leadership – when we visited the UK, what was beautiful about it was to see that it was not a partisan issue. Both parties were striving to put forth the best possible policy to save the planet.
Let me just say about GLOBE: I salute all of you for what you do. I first came, my first GLOBE meeting, I was telling Mr. Markey – I was invited over two decades ago by Senator John Kerry, who was heading up the GLOBE Initiative in the Congress at that time. And it was pretty exciting for me, coming from California, coming from San Francisco where there is a hotbed of activity about this – but to see the global manifestation of concern about our climate as we go forward.
As Mr. Markey said, when I became Speaker, my flagship issue was climate and energy security, and who better than Mr. Markey to head up that Committee? Again you know of his greatness. I feel certain we're not here just to talk about each other, but to say that he made the document, he established the record for the Congress. Whether it was about the impact on national security, or worldwide global security of climate change; whether it was the impact on the health of our children and the air they breathe; whether it was on innovation for the world to go forward to develop the great technologies to address climate change; whatever it happened to be – whether it was about jobs, about security, about the good health of our people and about our moral responsibility to pass this climate onto the next generation in a responsible way.
That's why, at the table, when we would have these discussions, we had people who usually didn't work together: evangelicals and scientists, business, and labor and environmentalists. We had every aspect of our society, of our economy, at the table. Evangelicals were there because they believe, as do I, that this is God's creation, and we have a moral responsibility to protect it. And I also give them credit for also doing so in a way that does not hurt the poor of the world.
And so again, we had a value system that was based on respect. And that's what I think GLOBE is about: looking for solutions to what, as Mr. Markey and Lord Deben said, is the challenge to our generation, or even a generation before. But we're still fighting the challenge. But to do so with respect for different countries' priorities, challenges, opportunities, possibilities. And that's what's the value, one of the values, of coming together here.
I suppose some of you in Rio remember when we went to the Earth Summit in 1992, and from there, Copenhagen more recently, and now France next year. And I want to say, in conclusion, I want to say how encouraging it is to hear your view, to hear Mr. Markey talk about what he thinks the prospects are. And so, we just last week, or two weeks ago, heard in our Caucus from the President of the World Bank, Dr. Kim, what a priority this is for the World Bank. And Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General, has been on this issue from day one, and I'm so pleased that so many manifestations of the UN are here with us all well.
This is a very exciting challenge. If we respect each other's countries' concerns, if we respect science – and that's where it's a little tricky sometimes in the Congress of the United States – if we respect science, and we respect that there is a public role, a public-private partnership that has to come of this, we will accomplish our goal.
And as our President said, let me say: at the state dinner for the French President, President Hollande, in his toast to the President, brought up the subject of looking forward to working with President Obama on the issue of climate change. That's usually not something you talk about at a state dinner. I was very pleased. But in our President's State of the Union address, we were very proud that he put the challenge in a way that said: when our children and our grandchildren ask us, did we do everything we possibly could to address the climate crisis, will we be able to say: 'Yes we did'?
We will be able to say that because of the intellectual sources that you all are, and of the diversity of challenges that different countries face. And we'll be able to do it because of the leadership of Lord Deben, Ban Ki-Moon, Dr. Kim, of so many of you in the room and of our convener here today, Co-Chair with Lord Deben, Ed Markey. He has been – in our country, this takes a level of courage. Not in his district, or his state, or mine, but for many of our Members.
The good news is that many people now believe that comment, that climate crisis exists. That may come as a surprise to you that they're just admitting that it exists. They still don't admit that human behavior has an impact on it. And so we've moved them somewhat. We have to move them some more. But as they consider that, you give us all hope with your knowledge, with your vision for a better future, with your knowledge, with the strategic thinking and planning that will be going on at this meeting – and your ability to attract those in our country to build the momentum that if people are not on this bandwagon they are left at the station.
That's not a good place to be when we have to say to our children, and our grandchildren, and future generations: 'Did you do everything you could?' We want to say, as our President did: 'Yes we did.' You certainly can.
Congratulations on your leadership. Thank you for being here. Welcome to the Capitol".