Durbin: COP26 Is An Opportunity For The U.S. To Take Bold Steps Addressing Climate Crisis

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on the Senate floor about the global significance of the United States’ participation in the U.N.’s 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) climate summit in Glasgow. In his remarks, Durbin praised President Biden for reaffirming the U.S.’ position as a global leader in the fight against climate change.

“This gathering is an opportunity for the United States and our allies to come together – for the first time in years- around a shared goal: taking bold steps to address the climate crisis. One of those steps is the “Build Back Better World Partnership.” It’s an initiative that will bring together the world’s major democracies to support sustainable development in low and middle-income countries… Fortunately, over the past two weeks, President Biden has shown the world that, if you want a partner in saving the planet – follow America’s lead, work together, across borders. And already, this strategy is working. Yesterday, a coalition of more than 40 countries – including the U.K., Poland, and Vietnam – announced that they will phase out coal power over the next two decades,” Durbin said.

Durbin also spoke in support of climate change provisions in the Build Back Better package that create economic prosperity and growth through the innovation of electric vehicles and renewable energy.

“The question for anyone in a position of power is what are you doing about climate change today? Between the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better package, Democrats are proposing roughly $900 billion toward the climate change threat. This would be the largest investment in climate action in history. These proposals will accelerate our nation’s transition to a clean energy future, upgrade our power grid and the rest of our physical infrastructure, and they will establish America as a global leader,” Durbin said.

Durbin went on to call out his Republican colleagues for their lack of urgency, and frequent denial of science, in addressing climate change.

“We cannot wait when it comes to climate change. There are people who want us to be at the back of the pack, for America to come in second when we’re talking about changing climate for the better in this nation and around the world. I think American leadership is needed. It’s always been an inspiration to many other countries, and it can be again today,” Durbin said.

Video of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s floor speech is available here for TV Stations.