Published On: Tue, Apr 27th, 2021

Earth Day Climate Summit A Success: Global Leaders Renew Climate Commitments

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By Janet Ekstract

NEW YORK (TURKISH JOURNAL) – At the virtual Leaders Climate Summit hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris, the Biden administration committed to get America back on the climate change track with President Biden’s pledge of an almost 52 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Biden’s goal in hosting the two-day virtual summit coinciding with Earth Day was to reiterate the seriousness of the global climate crisis and is a “milestone” Biden said in the run up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow, Scotland.

In his remarks on Earth Day, Biden reiterated the need for all countries to “move quickly” in order to set the stage for implementing sweeping changes to thwart a global climate crisis. The virtual summit, attended by 40 global leaders, April 22-23, emphasized the economic advantages to countries about being proactive in climate change measures and recommitting to pledges to combat the global climate crisis.

Leaders from China, Russia and India along with the leaders of Canada, the EU and some Asian and Southeast Asian nations expressed their commitments in the race to lower greenhouse gas emissions. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the U.S. will work with India on the India and US Climate and Green Energy Agenda 2030. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin expressed his willingness to “prepare joint projects” and to “consider benefits” for countries who want to invest in clean technology. Meanwhile, French President Macron commented that “We need to factor environment into the cost of investments in all areas.” While Canada’s PM Trudeau said his country’s “new climate target for 2030” is to reduce carbon emission levels by 40-45 percent. British leader Boris Johnson pledged to “end support for fossil fuels overseas” and that Britain understands the urgency of the climate crisis and plans to “cut our emissions by 78 percent to 2035.” China committed to move from Carbon P to carbon neutrality and “doubling our international private finance on climate change,” China’s President Xi said.

In addition, prior to the Leaders Summit on Climate Change – China and the U.S. issued a joint statement on their commitment to cooperating with each other and other countries to combat the climate crisis. Both the U.S. and China agreed on cooperation in a multilateral process that includes the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. Both nations have committed to take additional actions: develop their long-term strategies aimed at net zero GHG emissions/carbon neutrality by COP26 in Glasgow – take actions to maximize international investment and finance in support of the transition from carbon-intensive fossil fuel-based energy to green low carbon and renewable energy in developing countries. Both China and the US will implement the phasedown of hydrofluorcarbon production and consumption, reflected ın the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. China and the U.S. said they will continue to discuss the goals for the COP26 conference and beyond.In concluding the summit, Biden stressed that the climate response includes “an extraordinary engine of job creation and economic opportunity ready to be fired up.” He emphasized his goals for America include creating critically needed new infrastructure and to “deploy clean technology” while highlighting that the U.S. is planning to take immediate action to align with future climate goals. Addressing his counterparts at the virtual summit, Biden said: “You know, we’re here at this summit to discuss how each of us, each country, can set higher climate ambitions that will in turn create good-paying jobs, advance innovative technologies, and help vulnerable countries adapt to climate impacts.” The U.S. president concluded by urging countries to “move quickly” to get measures in place before the upcoming climate change conference in Glasgow that will be hosted by Britain. Biden also highlighted that acting on climate change ensures a brighter future for coming generations and that it is time to “tap the economic opportunity that climate change presents our workers and our communities.” He also pointed out that America represents less than 15 percent of the world’s emmissions and that the climate crisis is not an individual one, it is a collective one that must be tackled together as nations. The U.S. president said the summit is the first step toward working together on climate change to bring that commitment to Glasgow’ UN Climate Conference and highlighted how developed nations can set higher climate change goals to help vulnerable countries adapt to climate change.   

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