Climate change has become a top trending topic and world leaders are ardently focused on ensuring that it continues to remain this way
By Victor Ortiz, Jr., Writer
Via Zoom, President Joseph Biden hosted a historical two-day Leaders Summit on climate change that began on Earth Day, Apr. 23 and ended Apr. 24 and was attended by 40 world leaders addressing global warming, while holding one another accountable in discussing action to mitigate further environmental degradation.
“The signs are unmistakable. The science is undeniable. The cost of inaction keeps mounting. The United States isn’t waiting. We are resolving to take action,” said Mr. Biden.
“We are here at this summit to discuss how each of us, each country, can set higher climate ambitions.”
Setting an aggressive goal in continued commitment to the Paris Agreement, Mr. Biden pledged to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels, which was a stark difference from the 32 percent goal that former President Barack Obama had outlined in the Clean Power Plan and from the nearly 35 percent reduction outlined in former President Donald Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy rule.
The U.S. first entered the Paris Agreement in 2016 under the Obama administration. Mr. Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement in Nov. 2020 and often sent mixed messages regarding his stance on global warming.
Mr. Biden made his intent to re-enter the U.S. into the agreement for the second time through an executive order he signed on his Inauguration Day, Jan. 20. The U.S. officially rejoined the Paris Agreement on Feb. 19.
“I want to build a critical infrastructure to produce and deploy clean technology. Both those that we can harness today, and those we’ll invent tomorrow,” said Mr. Biden.
World leaders unanimously echoed Mr. Biden’s sentiments in agreement that climate change poses a critical threat to biodiversity and sustaining livelihood and were thrilled that the U.S. had rejoined the accord.
“We must be committed to green development. To protect the environment is to protect productivity. And to improve the environment is to boost productivity,” said President Xi Jinping of China.
Although Jinping did not make any new climate change committments for China, he did repeat his intention to make stringent efforts in peaking greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to become carbon gas neutral by 2060. Mr. Jinping’s collaboration is particularly important, since China ranks first as the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, ahead of the U.S., which ranks second.
“If we are going to tackle climate change sustainably, we have to deal with the disaster of habitat loss and species loss across our planet,” expressed Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom.
Global leaders are scheduled to meet again later this year in Glasgow to continue focus on climate change.
“Every nation has a responsibility. Every nation is at risk,” said Mr. Biden.