MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made energy independence more important than ever at a climate conference in South Florida on Monday.

Pelosi said at the opening session of Aspen Ideas: Climate 2022 in Miami Beach that the House has already passed legislation to address climate change and continues to work with the Senate to gain bipartisan support.

“We have every reason in the world to do this,” Pelosi said. “It’s hard to understand why there are barriers to that.”

Pelosi, who visited Ukraine earlier this month, said climate change has always been a health, economic and security issue, and she pointed out that countries that have bought oil from Russia , including the United States and some European countries, actually financed the attack. on Ukraine.

“The thing is, people can’t get away with this kind of behavior, and they can’t be funded to do it by our reliance on fossil fuels in their country,” Pelosi said.

The City of Miami Beach and the Aspen Institute are hosting the conference this week at the New World Center and the Miami Beach Convention Center. This event includes indoor and outdoor stages, breakout sessions and panel discussions, visits to local and historical resiliency landmarks, and fashion, food, art and music activities.

Besides Pelosi, Monday’s opening event also featured NBC’s “Today” meteorologist Al Roker discussing how climate change has affected weather reporting over the past five decades. Climate experts John Doerr and Ryan Panchadsaram also presented a plan to save the planet.

The event runs through Thursday and focuses on topics including building communities, scaling up private investment, making and using clean energy, and using the Earth itself to combat climate change.

The Aspen Institute is an international nonprofit organization whose stated goal is to achieve a free, just, and equitable society through seminars, policy programs, conferences, and leadership development initiatives.