The US president Joe Biden opens an ambitious global climate summit with descriptions of how it will be accomplished.
President Joe Biden has opened a global climate summit pledging at least half of the climate-wrecking coal and petroleum fumes that the United States is pumping out, a promise he hopes would inspire China and other major polluters to accelerate their own efforts.
The pledge to cut US fossil fuel emissions by up to 52 percent in less than 10 years will arrive at Thursday’s launch of the 40 world leaders’ virtual climate summit.
It would entail, by far, Washington’s most aggressive climate effort ever undertaken, almost doubling the reductions that President Barack Obama’s administration agreed to in the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
It will also be another sign of the US return to global climate efforts after President Donald Trump’s four-year withdrawal.
Biden had previously returned to the Paris agreement, revoked by Trump, just hours after taking office in January.
The White House said the initiative envisaging a prosperous, renewable U.S. energy moving away from relying on coal and petroleum would also drive employment as the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
“The U.S. is not waiting, the delay costs are too high, and our nation is determined to move now,” the Biden administration said in a statement.
“Climate change poses an existential danger, but reacting to this threat provides an opportunity to support good-paid, union jobs, improve America’s working communities, protect public health, and advance environmental justice.”
The commitment would draw on “leadership from mayors, county executives, governors, tribal leaders, employers, religious groups, cultural institutions, health care organisations, investors, and communities who have worked tirelessly together to ensure sustainable progress in reducing pollution in the U.S.,” the administration said.
The new urgency comes as scientists warn that climate change is already worsening droughts, floods, hurricanes, wildfires, and other disasters caused by coal power plants, car engines, and other fossil fuel uses, and that humans are running out of time to stop the most devastating extremes of global warming.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris opened the White House East Room Earth Day Summit Thursday to world leaders, including China, Russia, India, Gulf oil states, European and Asian partners, and island and coastal nations already dealing with the consequences of climate change. Francis would also participate.
The summit will play out as a climate telethon-style livestream due to the coronavirus pandemic, restricting chances for informal participation and negotiation.
Biden’s administration said that, with the US commitment and other emission-cutting announcements from Japan, Canada, the European Union, and the United Kingdom, countries covering more than half of the world’s economy will now agree to reduce fossil fuel fumes enough to prevent the earth’s atmosphere from warming up, disastrously more than 1.5C. (2.7F).
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