Pelosi, Schumer vow climate action: 'It is an imperative'

Pelosi, Schumer vow climate action: 'It is an imperative'
© Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Jan. 6 committee taps former Bush administration official as top lawyer Ocasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week CEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden MORE (D-N.Y.) spoke Wednesday at a League of Conservation Voters press conference to vow action on climate change, calling such action “imperative.”

“It is an imperative that we get this job done and we fully intend to do it,” Pelosi said in her remarks.

“What we can do in the next few months in terms of big, bold action is like nothing this nation and this world has ever seen before,” Schumer added. “We are surrounded by evidence of the climate crisis: the fires, the heatwaves out west, the floods.”

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“I tell my constituents in New York, COVID was horrible, but if we do nothing on climate, each year will be worse than COVID and each year will be worse than the previous year,” the majority leader said.

Schumer cited the climate provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure deal reached in the Senate and also pledged to include aggressive climate measures in the Senate’s reconciliation bill.

He specifically vowed to ensure a “robust Civilian Climate Corps” is part of the final reconciliation package, saying that “as the crisis comes closer and closer … we’ll have an educated corps of people able to fight it not just this year and next year but on into the future.”

“It’s spreading, everyone knows the crisis,” Schumer said. “It’s only the people with their head in the sand or some of our Republican colleagues who are in the palm of the oil, gas and coal industry who don’t realize it or don’t want to realize it.”

In his own remarks, Mustafa Santiago Ali, vice president of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation, compared the fight to the civil rights movement, saying the movement faces a “lunch counter moment.”

“The climate crisis is not just a theoretical concept, it is about real people and the impacts that are happening inside of their communities but we can flip the script, we can actually make sure that we are helping to strengthen those communities,” he said.