Nov 18 2021
Earlier this month, I joined a group of my colleagues to discuss climate solutions with world leaders at the United Nation’s 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland. After four years of science denial, COP26 represents the return of the United States as a global leader on climate action.
This gathering came at a time of dire urgency to address the climate crisis unfolding across the globe. In Delaware, we know about this threat all too well. As the lowest-lying state in the country, our state is sinking, and the seas around us are rising. From California to Greece, devastating wildfires have scorched the land and decimated communities. From Arizona to South Africa, severe droughts and heatwaves have caused historic water shortages. From Iowa to Germany, extreme flooding has caused billions of dollars in damage.
The attendees of COP26 spoke many languages, but we all understood the message our planet is giving us loud and clear: we must act now to save our planet. In the words of President Emanuel Macron of France, there is no Planet B.
And while we were having these critical discussions about coming together to address the climate crisis, back home, we saw the House of Representatives pass our bipartisan infrastructure bill and send it to the president’s desk to be signed into law. That legislation makes critical investments in climate programs, including billions of dollars to make our roads, our bridges, our transportation systems, our drinking water and wastewater systems cleaner and more resilient to climate change. Now, we set our sights on passing President Biden’s Build Back Better package: an historic investment in American families and a commitment of further funds for the future of our planet. Together, these bills will invest billions of dollars to reduce greenhouse gas and pollution emissions across our entire economy.
We clearly have our work cut out for us in the coming weeks in Washington. As the Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, I’m working to make sure that we make additional bold climate investments in our Build Back Better bill, and that we continue to confirm President Biden’s nominees for positions at critical agencies charged with protecting our environment. We have a lot of catching up to do after the previous administration’s climate failures, but I am confident that the United States is back—and here to stay—when it comes to leading the global fight to save our planet.