President-elect Joe Biden is making it clear that he won’t be fooling around regarding climate change. He has pledged to rejoin the Paris Agreement on his first day in office and to hold a global climate summit within the first 100 days.
Last week, 75 countries met in a virtual Climate Ambition Summit co-hosted by the UN, France and the U.K. The U.S, still led by outgoing President Donald Trump, was conspicuously absent. Other major nations that weren’t participating included Russia, Brazil and Indonesia.
Related: US formally exits Paris climate agreement
Biden does not want the U.S. to be left out of these crucial goings-on and is itching to get busy on climate change. “We’ll elevate the incredible work cities, states and businesses have been doing to help reduce emissions and build a cleaner future,” Biden said in a statement. “We’ll listen to and engage closely with the activists, including young people, who have continued to sound the alarm and demand change from those in power.” He repeated the pledge of aiming for net-zero carbon emissions in the U.S. by 2050 and emphasized that this would boost the economy. “We’ll do all of this knowing that we have before us an enormous economic opportunity to create jobs and prosperity at home and export clean American-made products around the world.”
To be successful, the world needs all oil-dependent countries to sign up for the net-zero emissions plan. The Paris Agreement is centered around countries having nationally determined contributions (NDCs), detailed plans about how they will severely curtail fossil fuel use and reduce emissions. The current NDCs were submitted in 2015 but need to be rewritten. As it stands, current NDCs will result in more than 3 degrees Celsius of warming, way overshooting the goal.
The world will be watching for the Biden’s plan. “We look forward to a very active US leadership in climate action from now on as US leadership is absolutely essential,” said UN Secretary General António Guterres. “The US is the largest economy in the world, it’s absolutely essential for our goals to be reached.”
Via The Guardian
Image via Gage Skidmore