COP26: Biden Announces An Ambitious Climate Plan For The US

By Janet Ekstract

GLASGOW (TURKISH JOURNAL) – Speaking at the UN Climate Conference, COP26 in Glasgow, US President Joe Biden said: “Glasgow must be the kickoff of a decade – a decade of ambition and innovation to preserve our shared future.” He reiterated that especially the US and a host of other nations have continued to experience the ravages of climate change and that “no nation can wall itself off from borderless threats.” Biden pointed out that high energy prices are even more reason to use clean energy technologies and the world must not rely on only one source of energy. He emphasized that because of skyrocketing energy prices that it’s an opportunity to diversify energy sources.

The US president said there is a unique opportunity to make what he called “a generational investment,” adding that this is his plan for the US. The president said that his program entitled ‘My Build Back Better’ framework will make “historic investments” in clean energy. He added that it will be the “most significant investment” ever made. Biden pledged to cut US greenhouse gas emissions by “well over a gigaton” by 2030. He said that over the next several days that the US will be announcing several new initiatives that will prove it is committed to “providing innovative solutions across multiple sectors. Biden emphasized those initiatives would tackle deforestation specifically among other climate issues. One of those is called the Adaptation Communication – planning for how to implement the global goal of adaptation as well as announcing the US’s first-ever contribution to the Adaptation Fund.

Biden said that’s why he’s releasing a long-term strategy for the US which he stressed demonstrates a vision of achieving the goal of net-zero emissions “economy-wide by no later than 2050.” He highlighted the fact that at the United Nations in September, he announced his administration is working with Congress to quadruple climate finance support for developing countries by 2024, including a major increase in support for adaptation efforts. Biden touched on his administration’s desire and “obligation to help” developing countries move quickly toward their clean-energy transition while also addressing the issue of pollution.

Consumers will see “more affordable” energy bills, Biden emphasized – along with tax credits for installing solar panels, weatherizing their homes, lowering energy prices.” There are plans, he said, to create electric school bus fleets, increase credits for electric vehicles and address legacy pollution. Biden reiterated that these moves will “incentivize clean energy manufacturing, building the solar panels and wind turbines that are growing energy markets of the future.” These, he commented, will create “good-paying union jobs for American workers.” Biden added that with all these steps the US will take, that “the United States will be able to meet the ambitious target I set in the Leaders Summit on Climate back in April, reducing the US emissions by 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.”

The US president pointed out that the US commitment “has made possible to each of our collective goals of mobilizing $100 billion annually for climate finance.” But he reiterated that it is a collective effort on the part of many governments, the private sector as well as multilateral development banks to make such a dramatic transition. Biden said his administration is about “supporting solutions” across the board to address the climate crisis. Prior to COP26, Biden said the US joined its G7 partners to launch a Build Back Better World Initiative. He also said that the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate was reconvened to kick off “transformative actions and to raise ambition.”

He concluded that the US along with the European Union is launching a Global Methane Pledge to reduce methane emissions by at least 30 percent by the end of this decade. Biden added that over 70 countries signed on to support the rapid reduction of methane pollution. Biden reiterated: “It’s the single most effective strategy we have to slow global warming in the near term.” He said that supporting developing nations in their efforts to combat climate change is crucial and that time has run out for debating the issue. Biden concluded: “This is the challenge of our collective lifetimes. The existential threat to human existence as we know it.”

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