Copenhagen, Denmark- Representative Ed Markey (D-Mass.) travelled to the United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen last week as part of a delegation led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Nearly 200 countries and over 100 heads of state including President Obama gathered to push towards an international agreement on climate change.
Rep. Markey speaks at the conference alongside Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Henry Waxman, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Rep. George Miller and Rep. Bart Gordon.
“President Obama took a climate deal that many considered dead in the water and created a watershed moment in the global effort to combat climate change,” said Markey, co-author of the House-passed Waxman-Markey climate bill and chair of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. “Nearly every single country in the world, representing more than 6 billion people, including all nations critical to a final binding agreement, now agree that we should complete that goal by the end of 2010.”
The accord, which was forged Saturday during intense negotiations between the United States, China, India, Brazil and South Africa, was recognized by the full climate conference here in Copenhagen. A handful of dissenting countries like Sudan and Venezuela prevented the entire conference from adopting the agreement.
The deal also signifies a new era in United States leadership on climate change. Along with President Obama’s 11th hour negotiating tour de force, the U.S. House of Representatives sent 21 members to the talks, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Reps. Markey and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the co-authors of the House-passed climate bill. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) also were vital voices in the talks.
“There is now a new paradigm of U.S. leadership on climate change, where activity has replaced passivity,” said Rep. Markey. “Today’s recognition by 98 percent of the world of an American-led accord shows that the United States has retaken the mantle as a multilateral negotiating force.”
Rep. Markey and Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri, the Chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change