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Friday, October 07, 2022

Biden Calls For Action At UN Climate Summit

Biden Calls For Action At UN Climate Summit

President Biden assured world leaders at the United Nations Global Climate Summit that the United States would pass legislation providing for unprecedented investment in clean energy and deliver on its promise to cut carbon emissions.

“We will demonstrate to the world that the US is not only back at the negotiating table, but hopefully leading the way by the strength of our example,” the president said in his speech on Monday. “I know this is not the case, and therefore my administration is working overtime to show that our climate commitments are actions, not words.”

Biden’s speech was aimed at supporting the climate ambitions of other leaders at a time when expectations for the summit are low, despite warnings from scientists that the world is dangerously overheating.

The failure of Congress to pass an important climate law before the summit began has put Biden in a weaker bargaining position than the White House had hoped. Large issuers such as China, India and Russia have declined to set more ambitious carbon reduction targets. And the G20 meeting in Rome ended on Sunday with an agreement that critics say are far from constructive action to contain the rise in temperatures.

Speaking on Monday at the summit’s opening ceremony, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that recent statements by leading polluting countries could mistakenly give the impression that the world is on track to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

“This is an illusion,” he said. “Even if the recent promises were clear and credible, and there are serious questions on some of them, we are still heading for a climate disaster.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson likened the fight to climate change to James Bond frantically working to defuse a bomb as the clock ticked to oblivion.

“If we fail, they will not forgive us,” he said. “They will learn that Glasgow was a historic turning point where history has not changed.”

If all goes better than event organizers and international leaders anticipate, the Glasgow Summit could set a course for global action to tackle climate change.

The event is intended to be an update to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, when 195 international leaders committed to keeping temperatures up to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. Beyond that threshold, heatwaves, floods, crop failures and wildfires will become increasingly common and deadly, scientists say.

The leaders were to arrive at the summit with new, more ambitious climate targets that would change the current trajectory of the world, which is approaching a warming of about 3 degrees Celsius by 2100.

Wealthy countries are also facing pressure from developing countries to deliver on a promise they made back in 2009, when the United States and other countries agreed they would provide $ 100 billion a year by 2020 to help poor countries. reduce carbon emissions and switch to cleaner fuel sources. and adapt to the effects of climate change. So far, wealthy countries are in short supply, and according to recent estimates, they may not receive the full amount until 2023.

Over the next two days, Glasgow will become the world leaders’ circle of speakers. Biden is due to give a speech on Monday afternoon in Scotland.

Speaking to reporters on Air Force One as the president flew from Rome to Scotland on Monday morning, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Biden’s speech would be a “combat appeal.”

“This will be a very strong statement of his personal commitment, the commitment of our country to not only do our part, but also help the world mobilize and catalyze action to achieve our goals,” Sullivan said.

As soon as Biden and other heads of government leave on Tuesday, diplomats and delegates will begin negotiations on a long-awaited agreement that sets out how the world will limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. They will also try to resolve disputes over financial aid and try to complete a set of rules for how countries account for and lend for greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

What they do or fail to achieve in the 12-day conference will be a sign of whether the unity and shared determination shown in Paris can be reborn.

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