Speaker Pelosi and bipartisan leaders of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming will travel to China during the Memorial Day District Week Period, focusing on opportunities that will help create clean, sustainable energy policies. Speaker Pelosi:
The urgency of the global climate crisis requires that critical choices be made now that are bold and based on the clearest understanding of how to achieve our goals of preserving the planet and protecting the health of the world’s people. Climate change provides a crucial opportunity for dialogue between our two nations.
The delegation has been invited to engage with national and local government officials, business leaders, students, and environmentalists on many aspects of the US-China relationship, including climate change, clean energy, the global financial crisis, human rights, and international trade. Traveling members of the congressional delegation include:
Congressman Edward Markey (D-MA), Chairman, Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming
Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Ranking Member, Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming
Yesterday, the delegation members landed in Anchorage and visited the Alaska Native Heritage Center hearing from Native Alaskans who are on the frontline of the effects of the climate crisis. The Native Alaskans said global warming is affecting their culture, habitat, and way of life, from villages crumbling into the sea, to lakes drying up, to possibly losing the iconic salmon.
Chairman Ed Markey blogs his reflections:
On Friday, one day after the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed historic energy legislation to reduce global warming and create millions of new jobs, I am proud to travel with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a congressional delegation to China.
On the way we stopped in Anchorage, Alaska visiting the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage and saw those who are on the frontline of the harsh consequences of climate change. We heard from native Alaskans who are losing their fishing grounds, their homes and their very way of life. Local villagers told us how their elders had sensed a change in their environment many years ago and now science had confirmed their early warnings. We learned of the rapidly shrinking sea ice and the dramatic loss of habitat and how that is altering entire ecosystems. We also heard the heartbreaking stories of people who have lived on a land for thousands of years but now have to abandon their homes because they are falling into the sea. Our visit reminded us that climate change is causing problems right now, in our own country. Climate change causes problems not just in some faraway land, but to our neighbors and fellow citizens.
We also heard that the people of Alaska have been adapting to harsh climate for years and are developing new ways to meet their fuel needs. Alaska has tremendous wind resources that can not only back out fossil fuels, but can also bring electricity to remote areas.
As we move on to China, this information reinforces the need for the US and China to take concrete actions to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.