Neguse represents Colorado at UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
FRISCO — U.S. Congressman Joe Neguse represented Colorado from Dec. 1-3 at the 2019 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP25, in Madrid. The convention is where the original 2015 Paris Agreement was negotiated.
Convention attendees included international leaders and representatives from nonprofit organizations, who gathered to discuss climate priorities.
Neguse, who represents Summit County as part of Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, serves on the House Leadership team, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and the House Natural Resources Committee. He has introduced legislation surrounding renewable energy and public lands, such as the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act, better known as the CORE Act, which passed out of the U.S. House in October but faces a dim future in the U.S. Senate.
“I thought the conference got off to an incredible start,” Neguse said. “We had the opportunity to visit with (nongovernmental organizations), international partners, to hear from other heads of state and to meet directly with the U.N. general, talking about the commitment of the House,”
While President Donald Trump has announced his decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, Neguse and other members of Congress, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, attended to express their support of climate negotiations.
“By coming here, we want to say to everyone: We’re still in. The United States is still in,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Our delegation is here to send a message that Congress’ commitment to taking action on the climate crisis is ironclad.”
Neguse said his goals in attending the conference were threefold:
- To learn more about what the international community is doing to combat climate change and how the U.S. can contribute
- To share the work that’s being done in the U.S., noting that seven cities in Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District have made a commitment to 100% renewable energy
- To echo Pelosi’s sentiment to send a message
“The ability to talk about what Summit County is doing to turn the tide … I thought was incredibly fruitful and productive,” Neguse said.
At the conference, Pelosi and Neguse highlighted Colorado’s leadership in carbon-emission reduction goals with 14 cities and counties across the state — including Summit County, Frisco and Breckenridge — setting specific renewable energy goals.
Neguse said his biggest takeaway from the conference was that there is agreement on the urgency of the climate crisis.
“What I learned was that the collective consensus was very clear,” Neguse said. “All vested parties (agree) that there is no time to waste. We have a very short runway to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change.”
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