Nancy Pelosi has said dealing with climate change is a matter of “justice and equality”, after travelling to COP26 with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a group of leading US politicians.
The Democrats arrived at COP26 on Tuesday as part of a Congressional delegation, as the climate change summit focuses on women’s equality.
The US Speaker of the House introduced Nicola Sturgeon at an event on gender equality on Tuesday.
Pelosi led a group of more than 20 US politicians who have travelled to the conference in Glasgow.
Addressing the conference on Tuesday, she said this was the largest congressional delegation ever to have attended a climate change conference.
She said: “80% of the people displaced in climate change globally are women.
“Addressing the rapidly changing climate is a matter of justice and equality, with the most vulnerable most affected, including indigenous communities and our focus today – and every day – on women.
“We come here fresh from advancing the most ambitious and consequential climate and energy legislation of all time in our country.”
Pelosi also introduced the First Minister, who went on to chair a panel discussion on gender equality and climate change.
Ocasio-Cortez shared details of her journey to Scotland on her Instagram, saying it was her first ever trip with a “codel” – congressional delegation.
She flew in from the US in a military aircraft, posting: “Despite the craziness and media frenzy, I was still a waitress just three years ago.
“So I still have moments in my life where it hits me that I’m actually in Congress. This was one of those moments.”
Posting a photo of the coronavirus test she took upon arrival in the UK, she said: “Shout out to the NHS, I wish we had you at home. We need #medicareforall.”
As discussions at the conference turned to issues of gender equality, a giant puppet called Little Amal arrived in the “blue zone”.
The 12ft-tall puppet, which represents a young Syrian girl, has walked 4970 miles across Europe to raise awareness around the needs of refugee children.
It was present as a session on “advancing gender equality in climate action” began at the conference.
The event was designed to showcase some of the best examples of gender equality in climate action, highlighting the disproportionate impact of climate change on women.
On Tuesday, as part of the summit’s Gender Day, Cop President Alok Sharma announced UK Government funding of £165m for communities and women’s groups to tackle climate change.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the UK minister who is chairing the flagship Gender Day event, said: “It is women, girls and those who are already most marginalised, that will be most severely impacted by climate change.
“But they also have a critical role to play to address the climate crisis.
“The UK is committed to addressing this dual challenge head on, committing new funding to empower communities and women’s groups to take locally-led adaptation action, to build local, national and global resilience.”