Puppetry, Pelosi and AOC as Barack and Boris return: day nine of Cop26

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Hot on the heels of former US President Barack Obama’s visit on Monday, the US invasion continued on Tuesday as speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez arrived at the UN climate summit in Glasgow.

Here are some of the takeaways from day nine:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez visits the Cop26 summit (Jane Barlow/PA)

AOC praises the NHS

Ms Ocasio-Cortez flew from the US in a military aircraft as part of the US congressional delegation.

Posting a photo of the coronavirus test she took on arrival in the UK on Instagram, she said: “Shout out to the NHS, I wish we had you at home. We need #medicareforall.”

Questioned at the conference if the US had fully recovered its moral authority on climate change after the Trump administration, she said: “No, we have not recovered our moral authority, I believe we are making steps.

“We have to actually deliver the action in order to get the respect and authority internationally. We have to draw down emissions to get credit internationally, it’s that simple.”

Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, making a speech at Cop26 (Jane Barlow/PA)

Pelosi pins her hopes on the military to reduce emissions

AOC was joined by Speaker of the House Ms Pelosi, who led a group of more than 20 US politicians who travelled to the summit.

At a press conference, she was challenged on the US Government’s move to increase defence spending, despite the fact the Pentagon is responsible of around 60 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

She said new technologies developed by the US military would help the US decarbonise.

The Democrat said attempts by the US Government to reduce the carbon footprint of its defence and its transport systems would “make the biggest difference” to overall emissions.

Barack Obama
Former US president Barack Obama returned to the conference on Tuesday (Jane Barlow/PA)

Obama is back

Former US president Barack Obama returned to the conference on Tuesday, visiting the US pavilion in the blue zone.

Mr Obama was joined by US climate envoy John Kerry as he addressed gathered US staff before trading fist-bumps and posing for photos.

No word on whether he had any food or coffee though, after he singled those on offer out in his speech on Monday.

Downing Street
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is heading back to the summit on Wednesday (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Boris is back

Fresh from “irresponsibly parading” around a hospital without a mask, Boris Johnson is to return to the summit on Wednesday.

Downing Street confirmed the visit on Tuesday, saying the Prime Minister will “meet negotiators, to get an update on progress in the talks and encourage ambitious action in the final days of the negotiations”.

Following his time at the conference last week, Mr Johnson faced criticism having reportedly flown back to London on a private jet to have dinner at a private members’ club.

Little Amal
Crowds flocked to puppet Little Amal at the summit (Jane Barlow/PA)

Giant response for Little Amal

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 4,970 miles across Europe to raise awareness of the needs of refugee children.

UK International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan introduced the puppet as she chaired the flagship Gender Day event “advancing gender equality in climate action” and later Little Amal hugged a climate activist speaking at the event.

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