Pelosi Agrees That US Military Pollutes More Than 140 Countries Combined
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks in a press conference at the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference on Nov. 9, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
By Charles Kim | Tuesday, 09 November 2021 09:24 PM
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., agreed Tuesday that the U.S. military emits more pollution than 140 countries combined.
''National security advisers tell us that climate change is a national security matter,'' Pelosi said while taking questions from reporters at the United Nations COP26 forum on climate change in Glasgow, Scotland.
''We recognize [the military is producing more pollution than 140 other countries combined and is exempt from climate regulations] as well. [They are] a big user of fuel, there have been many initiatives over time, very successful with technology to convert from fossil fuel to other sources of fuel.''
She said converting to alternative fuels ''would make the biggest difference'' in the amount of pollution generated by the military.
''That is something we are very focused on,'' she said.
According to a 2019 Brown University Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs report, the U.S. military is the largest institutional producer of greenhouse gases in the world, generating more than 3,685 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2018.
The military generates more than such industrialized countries as Sweden, Denmark and Portugal, and more than U.S. production of steel and iron, according to the report.
The conference in Glasgow hopes to hold the increase in the average temperature to around 1.5 degrees to prevent massive climate catastrophes in the future.
Pelosi said that the Democrats' $1.75 trillion Build Back Better budget reconciliation bill currently in front of Congress, supported by President Joe Biden, will do a huge amount to advance the climate change agenda, calling it the ''most ambitious and consequential climate and clean energy legislation of all time.''
''Our legislation is far-reaching, ensuring that [the] future economy is greener and cleaner,'' she said. ''That means $250 billion in clean energy tax credits to develop and deploy the latest in future generations of clean power.
''That means over $100 billion in addition for resilience including climate-smart agriculture and nature-based climate solutions; another $100 billion toward local- and region-led climate solutions … and over $222 billion for environmental justice.''
The bill, reduced from its initial $3.5 trillion cost, is facing opposition from some centrist Democrats in the Senate, including Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, whose votes are needed in the 50-50 Senate to move the bill over the finish line with Vice President Kamala Harris' tie-breaking vote.