Clock ticking down on climate talks

Clock ticking down on climate talks
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Congressional Democrats lauded the American and international negotiators working on a climate change pact in Paris on Thursday, the day before a self-imposed deadline to come to some agreement there.

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWhite House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team House revives agenda after impeachment storm Democrats worry a speedy impeachment trial will shut out public MORE (D-Calif.) highlighted aspects she hopes to see in the final deal during a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

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“A clear plan, five-year review, and the very important aspect of this conference: transparency, transparency, transparency,” she said. “It is the key to ensuring that it will all work.”

Pelosi and more than a dozen other Democrats had hoped to go to Paris this week as the conference wound down, but the House schedule forced them to cancel their trips trip. Nonetheless, they said they were heartened by the progress they’ve seen being made toward a deal.

“Our leader, and all of us, really feel strongly that America is prepared to take a leadership role on the issue of climate change,” Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), ranking member of the House Energy Committee, said. “America is going to take the lead on this. We want to do that.”

Negotiators hope to reach a climate deal by Friday. They released another draft version of the plan on Thursday while setting up a dash to the finish line before the end of the week.

“Today’s obviously getting down to the critical stage, and we had a very constructive meeting,” Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Paris on Thursday. “We feel very good about the conversation we’ve just had. We need to work on language, and that’s what most of today and tonight will be.”

Senators who attended the conference last weekend took to the floor on Thursday to promote the work being done there.

“I was so proud of what has happened over there in terms of the world joining together,” Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOvernight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump's border wall Democrats vow to force third vote on Trump's border wall emergency declaration Overnight Defense: War powers fight runs into impeachment | Kaine has 51 votes for Iran resolution | Trump plans to divert .2B from Pentagon to border wall MORE (D-N.M.) said.

“More than 184 countries came together and we’re going to see the conclusion of their action this week.”

In a statement, Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerFormer Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer joins DC lobbying firm Hillicon Valley: Ocasio-Cortez clashes with former Dem senator over gig worker bill | Software engineer indicted over Capital One breach | Lawmakers push Amazon to remove unsafe products Ocasio-Cortez blasts former Dem senator for helping Lyft fight gig worker bill MORE (D-Calif.), ranking member on the Environment and Public Works Committee, sent her “deepest thanks” to Paris negotiators.

“An ambitious agreement in Paris will not only reduce harmful emissions but will be a powerful economic driver for the U.S. and countries around the world, just as it has been in my home state,” she said. “And, it will protect the health of our children and families for generations to come. This is our moment to take action.”