Reflections & commentaries from the first day of President Joe Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate Change.
As the World recognized Earth Day, President Joe Biden’s call to climate action was heard. World Leaders having been invited by the American President, came together today to make climate pledges ahead of COP26 which is to be held in Glasgow, United Kingdom in November 2021.
President Joe Biden addressed the summit reiterating his policies on climate change & rolling out some of the ways in which his administration aims to reduce methane leaks, generate infrastructure for cleaner energy & in doing so, providing hundreds of thousands of new Green Jobs.
President Biden spoke of the roll out of 500,000 electric charging stations being installed across the United States, the investment in carbon capture & hydrogen plants. With the USA producing less than 15% of world emissions, he is keenly aware that global reductions are the answer to Earth reaching 1.5°C, which is why he invited world leaders to share their climate targets, pledges & policies ahead of the United Nations COP26 later this year.
During Session One of the Leaders Summit on Climate Change, leaders from around the globe congratulated President Biden for re-joining the Paris Agreement & for championing action for Climate Change. They thanked President Joe Biden for bringing them all together to raise awareness & gather their mission statements in a global platform.
One of the clear points raised again & again during todays first session, was that developing countries need the support of developed countries to move away from coal & fossil fuel reliant economies. Furthermore, many world leaders, including Sheikh Hasina – Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Joko Widodo – President of Indonesia & David Kabua – President of the Marshall Islands, shared their concerns about the rising seas levels, droughts, storms & wildfires caused by climate change having a devastating affect on developing countries.
The concerns were heard alongside a plea for a percentage of the pledged $100B per year climate fund to be shared with developing countries to help them combat the effects of the big emitters & assist with their push towards renewables & sustainable energies & away from fossil fuel reliance.
Cyril Ramaphosa – President of South Africa stated that he felt climate change on it’s current course, could reverse all of the gains in the developing countries & drive millions of people, including indigenous people, into poverty & starvation. He urged developed countries to honour their commitments to climate change & urged mitigation globally to support a carbon free future.
One of the other themes which came to light on many occasions was how countries could build back better form the Covid19 pandemic.
As Narendra Modi – Prime Minister of India said “the pandemic is truly a reminder that climate change has not disappeared” He assured the Climate Summit that India was “doing our part” But, with India suffering from a devastating third wave of a new strain of the Covid19 virus, Narendra Modi reminded the attendees that with so many of the people in his country relying directly on the land & environment for their livelihoods & with Covid19 & climate change colliding; this was causing concerns for how they can strike a balance & build back stronger & greener in a post Covid world.
Narendra Modi reassured the virtual summit attendees that India had already taken bold steps towards focusing on generating cleaner energy, encouraging biodiversity & renewables. Narendra Modi spoke of the India & USA Climate Action 2030 partnership & encouraged partners for sustainable development in India to reach out to him. With India’s carbon footprint being 16% lower than the global average, despite the challenges of the pandemic, they are still making headway towards a renewable & sustainable future.
Written & cited by Katy- Jane Mason for & on behalf of Dolphin N2.