Joe Biden says ‘we’re still falling short’ on climate change
During a meeting of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, in Glasgow (Scotland), on November 1, 2021, Joe Biden, President of the United States, delivers a speech.
AFP – Getty Images| AFP | Getty Images
GLASGOW, Scotland — President Joe Biden called on world leaders to meet the moment at the COP26 climate summit, warning no country can escape what is to come if policymakers fail to seize this opportunity.
We’re still failing right now. Biden spoke Monday, saying that it was too late to sit back, argue with others or stand on the fence. As he addresses assembled delegates in Glasgow (Scotland), he made the remarks.
“This is the greatest challenge we will face together, the existential threat facing human existence. Each day that passes, the cost of not acting increases. This is the right moment to answer history’s call in Glasgow. “Let this be the beginning of a decade worth of transformational action,” he said.
U.N.-brokered talks on climate are being held in the U.K. from Sunday until Nov. 12. It is widely believed that the meeting will be a decisive step in preventing the worst consequences of the potential climate emergency.
Biden indicated that the U.S. had committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52% by 2030, as compared to 2005 levels.
Biden explained that these were intended to “prove the world that America is not just at the table anymore, but leading by our example.” It hasn’t been, and I know that. That’s why my administration works overtime to demonstrate that our climate pledge is action and not words.
The COP26 summit is delayed by the coronavirus outbreak for a full year. This comes six decades after nearly 200 countries signed the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rises to 2° Celsius above preindustrial levels.
If global warming is to be stopped at 1.5 degrees Celsius we need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions nearly by half over the next 8 year and achieve net-zero emission levels by 2050.
Climate scientists have repeatedly stressed that the best weapon to tackle rising global temperatures is to cut greenhouse gas emissions — fast.
Biden arrives in Scotland’s biggest city shortly after the leaders of 20 of the largest countries in the world failed to make meaningful climate promises in Rome, Italy over the weekend.
At the G-20 Summit, countries agreed to take “meaningful” and “effective” actions to limit global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius. This threshold is crucial to prevent disaster.
However, there were few concrete actions in the communique, and no specific commitment to net zero carbon emissions for 2050.
The result is that policymakers will now have to fight for the right moment at COP26.
Biden stated on Sunday that he shares the frustration of activists and campaigners after a disappointing G-20 summit. After accusing Russia and China of not “showing up” to the talks, Biden said that “more must be done.”
China and Russia committed to net-zero emission by 2060. This is a decade earlier than most major economies.
In recent weeks, intense scrutiny has been focused on the U.S.’ domestic climate agenda. This is amid criticism of the president’s inactions that have not matched his repeated declarations about the “existential danger” caused by the climate crisis.
Biden signed the Paris Agreement into force for the largest and most powerful economy on the planet, as well as the second-biggest emitter in the world. But he still has to confront the doubters in Scotland about America’s climate leadership.
Mia Mottley was the prime minister of Barbados and said that 1.5 is necessary for survival for all who can see clearly, hear well, and have hearts to understand.
Additionally, she stated that heating at 2 degrees is “a death sentence” for Antigua-Barbuda, the Maldives, the Dominica and Fiji peoples, as well the Kenyan and Mozambique peoples, and the Barbados peoples.
“We don’t want to die, so today we come together to try harder.”