With President Joe Biden having opened the table to some 40 world leaders, it was encouraging that some of the largest developed countries in the world & some of the biggest GHG emissions & CO2 emitters; took their place at the virtual summit.
We are therefore taking a look at just a few of those countries pledges, from some of the largest GHG & CO2 emitters, to some of the countries most affect by global & anthropogenic climate change.
Boris Johnson – United Kingdom
Boris Johnson addressed the summit & reminded world leaders that the UK was the first country to pass legislation for Net Zero. He also reiterated that the UK had the largest offshore wind powered renewables in the world.
As Johnson set the scene for the positive work the UK were doing to meet their pledge from the Paris Agreement; he brought home the stark reality of the need for a 78% reduction in emissions being required by 2035, to reach the Net Zero target by 2050.
With the UK set to host COP26 in November 2021, Johnson invited world leaders to use the Joe Biden summit as a way for countries to bring their climate ambitions & further those pledges & realities by the time they attend COP26.
Johnson expressed his interest in how technology can play it’s part in Carbon Capture & Hydrogen Delivery, whilst also recognizing that the $100B fund Joe Biden has gathered world leaders to commit to; must work together to support developing countries & share climate focused investment.
Xi Jinping – China
The Chinese leader Xi Jinping attended the summit & told the assembly that China was “committed to creating harmony between man & nature” that we should “respect & follow natures law, with a commitment to systemic governance & to create balance in all aspects of nature.
Xi Jinping spoke of the joint Chinese & USA Science statement which was released only a few days before the summit:
Extract: The United States and China are committed to cooperating with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the seriousness and urgency that it demands. This includes both enhancing their respective actions and cooperating in multilateral processes, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. Both countries recall their historic contribution to the development, adoption, signature, and entry into force of the Paris Agreement through their leadership and collaboration. (1)
Xi Jinping reiterated China’s goals of reaching carbon neutrality by 2060 & he announced that China would phase down it’s coal function over a 15 year period. Xi Jinping closing statement opened scope for more dialogue with a country which has had it’s political challenges with the US under the previous administration, but in this area, Xi Jinping said “As long as we unite, we will rise above the climate challenges”
Suga Yoshida – Japan
Suga Yoshida addressed the summit by expressing his commitment to japan becoming Net Zero by 2050. He was pleased to announce that climate change was “no longer a constraint on the economy” rather it was “a driving force”
Yoshida explained to the summit attendees that Japan would see a 46% reduction in emissions in the fiscal year 2030 & was committed to decarbonization & creating a circular economy.
Yoshida also announced that he had launched the Japanese & US Partnership on Climate Ambition & decarbonization.
Jair Bolsonaro – Brazil
The Amazon rainforest known as the ‘lungs of the earth’ falls under Jair Bolsonaro’s jurisdiction. With global calls for the forest to gain global protection from illegal logging, deforestation & progressive & invasive development; Bolsanaro pledged to protect 84% of the Amazon biome & eradicate illegal deforestation by 2050.
However, sadly the day after making international pledges to end illegal deforestation & double the budget for environmental enforcement; Bolsonaro has approved a 24% cut to the environment budget for 2021 from the previous year’s level. (3)
David Kabua – Marshall Islands.
As one of the islands most affected by the affects of advancing climate change, the message David Kabua brought to the summit was a stark one. With the geographic isolation of the Marshall Islands renders any disaster caused by climate change especially destructive.
By 2035, the U.S. Geological Survey projects that some of the Marshall Islands will be submerged. Others will no longer have drinking water because their aquifers will be contaminated with saltwater. As a result, Marshallese would be forced to migrate away from their homelands. (2)
Kabua recognized the bleak future for the Marshall Islands by expressing his concerns. “If the big emitters fail to act, we will continue to feel the affects of climate change”
Kabua called for 50% of the $100B fund to go towards global adaption & to assist those most at risk of the devastating affects of climate change.
Vladimir Putin – Russia
Vladimir Putin addressed the world leaders summit by acknowledging that “We all share global climate change concerns. Whether this is successful, determines our future as a planet”
Putin pledged to significantly reduce emissions by 2050, regardless of the shear size of Russia & that they had already reduced their GHG’s by 3.1B tonnes.
This has been achieved by Russia restructuring over the past two decades & utilizing low emissions power generation. Putin acknowledged that Russia was still progressive with it’s nuclear programme as a renewable power source with limited emissions. He also spoke of the Russian push for the production of hydrogen & that they were piloting a Carbon Pricing project & carbon trading.
Putin’s closing comments were that Russia was “genuinely interested in galvanizing global collaboration to reduce emissions & tackle climate change”
Written & cited by Katy-Jane Mason for & on behalf of Dolphin N2