Key takeaways from the Biden Earth Day summit

Key takeaways from the Biden Earth Day summit

António Guterres, the secretary general of the United Nations, said that a 50% reduction by the USA was needed to help stop the planet slipping into a climate "abyss", with scientists warning the world must slash emissions in half by 2030 if it is to curb calamitous heatwaves, wildfires, floods and societal unrest.

In his address to the Leaders' Summit on Climate via video link convened by US President Joe Biden, who restored the US' commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change, Xi said, "China welcomes the US' return to the multilateral climate governance process". -China relations, the two nations recently agreed to cooperate with other countries to curb climate change. "There is no money in sight", Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said earlier this month, after a visit from Biden climate envoy John Kerry.

With the pledge from the United States and other emissions-cutting announcements from Japan, Canada, the European Union and the United Kingdom, countries representing more than half the world's economy will have now committed to cutting fossil fuel fumes enough to keep the earth's climate from warming, disastrously, more than 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius), the Biden administration said.

China is by far the largest carbon producer and, with the USA, emits around half of the pollution responsible for climate change.

Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed giving preferential treatment for foreign investment in clean energy projects, but also made an apparent reference to the United States being historically the world's top greenhouse gas polluter. China iterated its intention to reach peak emissions within the decade, and India said it would generate 450 megawatts of renewable energy by 2030.

Comparisons between major economies are hard as the United States takes 2005 as its baseline while the Europeans use 1990, the date set in the landmark Kyoto Protocol. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

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As the host of the summit, the pressure was on the United States to go big, and Biden's announcement set the bar for climate action.

Trump pulled out of Paris, calling it unfair to coal miners and the energy industry.

Nonetheless, a United Nations report late past year said that the world was on course for warming of three degrees Celsius - a level at which the planet is forecast to see many glaciers and ice caps melt, low-lying areas submerged and increasingly severe droughts, floods and disasters that could trigger starvation and mass migration.

A Biden administration official said with the new USA target, enhanced commitments from Japan and Canada, and prior targets from the European Union and Britain, countries accounting for more than half the world's economy were now committed to reductions to achieve the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal.

The White House also vowed to support energy innovations and "carbon sinks" such as forests that suck up pollution and to prioritize action against extremely pollutant gases such as methane. He is the director of the Polar Research Institute of Hong Kong.

The emerging US approach is "focusing on what works, and multiple pathways being possible", she said, "and that's something about the USA that I find encouraging".

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