Pelosi Remarks to American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai
Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke this morning to the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. Below are the Speaker's remarks:
"Thank you for the invitation to be here today at the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. We have come to China at the invitation of the Chinese government because we believe China and the United States must confront the urgent challenge of climate change together.
"We have come here to learn about the environmental challenges facing China and the policies being pursued by the Chinese government to protect the environment. And we have come here to engage with Chinese officials at all levels, Chinese students, environmentalists, and the American and Chinese business communities, on the issues of clean energy and climate change.
"The urgency of the global climate crisis requires that critical choices be made now that are bold and based on the clearest understanding of how to achieve our goals of preserving the planet and protecting the health of the world's people.
"I am proud to be joined by my colleagues from Congress. All are experts on issues related to clean energy and the environment, and serve on the House Select Committee on Global Warming and Energy Independence including Chairman Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Republican Ranking Member James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, and Jackie Speier of California. Congressman Jay Inslee of Washington state will join us later today.
"When I became Speaker of the House, I announced that my flagship issue would be climate change and energy independence. As you may know, protecting human rights have been a top priority for me throughout my career in Congress. I will continue to speak out for human rights in China and around the world.
"Indeed, protecting the environment is a human rights issue. We hope to send a clear message that transparency, accountability, enforcement, and respect for the rule of law are essential if we are to protect our planet.
"The timing of this challenge has been governed by environmental concerns and national security concerns. It is also governed by economic necessity. We hope to lead the way in the establishment of clean energy and investments in science and innovation that will produce good-paying, green jobs for workers.
"We are making progress to reduce our global warming footprint. Over the last six months, Congress has passed new energy efficiency standards for buildings, appliances and vehicles and directed an unprecedented amount of money to clean energy projects as part of our recovery package.
"Last week, President Obama announced an aggressive timetable for achieving the historic fuel efficiency increases that Congress passed in 2007. And for the first time, we will regulate global warming pollution from vehicles. This action will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil and cut carbon emissions by 30 percent over the life of the program.
"The timing of our visit to China coincides with the House Energy and Commerce Committee passing legislation last week to establish a clean energy policy with mandatory reductions in harmful greenhouse gas emissions and national standards for renewable electricity. The bill, sponsored by Chairman Henry Waxman and Ed Markey, who is with us this morning, will reduce U.S. carbon emissions by 17 percent in 2020, 42 percent by 2030, and by 83 percent in 2050. In addition, the bill will achieve further emissions reductions by setting aside 5 percent of the total value of the pollution allowances to be used for forest protection around the world.
"Over the years, Members of Congress have expressed concerns on many controversial issues related to U.S.-China trade policy. We know that our trade relationship with China has not been balanced, and the trade deficit has grown to more than $266 billion a year.
"We know China's low currency is making our exports to China more expensive then they would be without capital controls. Little has been done to prevent the sale of pirated and counterfeit goods, as was promised as part of China's accession to the WTO. Last, much more must be done to improve food and product safety inspections between our two countries.
"There is no question that we need to find new and innovative solutions to boost the export of American goods to China. We also need to continue to press the Chinese government to make progress on trade issues. We know that without proper enforcement of intellectual property rights, for example, the prospects for developing and selling clean technology will be significantly diminished.
"In the coming months and years, there is an opportunity to take the first steps to lay the foundation for a more balanced trade relationship and a lower carbon economy for both our countries. There is a long way to go, but I look forward to hearing your thoughts this morning.
"Thank you for the opportunity to be here today."