The United States has returned to international climate negotiations with a “more just” approach to addressing global warming than it had the last time it was at the table, U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said on Tuesday.
The congresswoman from New York arrived at the COP26 summit in Glasgow with other U.S. representatives to support American efforts to reclaim leadership at UN climate negotiations after a four-year absence under former president Donald Trump.
“We’re just here to say that we’re not just back. We’re different and we’re more just,” she told a side event at the conference. “And we are more open-minded to questioning prior assumptions of what is politically possible … And I would argue that it’s a fundamentally different approach.”
The administration of President Joe Biden and its Democratic backers have been working to reclaim trust among international partners who hope that Washington’s support of aggressive climate action will not fizzle out after the next election.
Ocasio-Cortez and other Democratic lawmakers said that key to proving lasting U.S. leadership will be the passage of a comprehensive social and climate spending bill called Build Back Better that needs to win support from moderate Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, also at the conference, said she expected the spending bill would pass sometime next week.
“As we fly back to the United States later this week, it will be with the intent to finish the job next week. Failure really is not an option,” said U.S. Representative Joe Neguse of Colorado, another of the visiting lawmakers.