President Biden’s Ambitious Earth Day Climate Summit

President Joe Biden is hosting world leaders from countries large and small in a virtual global meeting on Earth Day, April 22, 2021. Photo date: February 25, 2021 (Photo courtesy National Governors Assn.) Creative Commons license via Flickr

WASHINGTON, DC, April 22, 2021 (ENS) – President Joe Biden has invited 40 world leaders to participate in a virtual Leaders Summit on Climate he is hosting today, Earth Day April 22, and on April 23. His goal – to inspire agreement among the global community of nations on how to address the planet’s rising temperature, which is causing extreme weather events, glacial melt, sea-level rise, drought and wildfires around the world.

The virtual Leaders Summit will be live streamed for public viewing. [Sunny’s Note: Link to be provided when White House announces it, hopefully today. I will email it to you to place on this line.]

President Biden took action his first day in office to return the United States to the Paris Agreement. The Leaders Summit on Climate will underscore the urgency, and the economic benefits, of stronger climate action. It will be a key milestone on the road to the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held November 1-12 in Glasgow, Scotland.

In recent years, scientists have underscored the need to limit planetary warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the temperature at the start of the Industrial Revolution in order to avert the worst impacts of climate change. A key goal of both the Leaders Summit and COP26 will be to catalyze efforts that keep that 1.5-degree goal within reach.

In a media briefing on April 20, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki offered a preview of President Biden’s goals for the summit. “The President’s goal is really to convene the world’s major economies and other key voices to galvanize efforts to keep the vital goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.  And we know we have had some backstep on that, which the United States has been certainly a part of over the last couple of years,” Psaki said.  We have a role to play.”

“During the summit, leaders will discuss mobilizing public- and private-sector financing to drive the net-zero transition and to help vulnerable countries cope with climate impacts,” she told reporters. “Obviously, the world’s larger economies, as you all know, have a sometimes greater responsibility for themselves, but also for economies that are not as economically advanced in helping address these issues.”

“It’s an opportunity to also talk about the economic benefits of climate action with a strong emphasis on job creation and the importance of ensuring all communities and workers benefit from this transition,” Psaki said.

“It’s really an opportunity and a forum to talk about how, as a global community, we can all come together to address what he sees as one of the four crises of his presidency,” Psaki said, adding, “Addressing the climate crisis is something that, even when you have disagreements about other areas, we can agree on that.”

The Leaders Summit will highlight examples of how enhanced climate ambition will create good paying jobs, advance innovative technologies, and help vulnerable countries adapt to climate impacts.

By the time of the Summit, the United States will announce what the White House calls “an ambitious 2030 emissions target” as its new Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement.

In his invitation, President Biden urged world leaders to use the Summit as an opportunity to outline how their countries will contribute to stronger climate ambition.

President Joe Biden, right, hosts Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at the White House, his first in-person visit with a foreign leader since on January 20, 2021 when he assumed the presidency. The two leaders agreed to cooperate to solve the climate crisis. April 16, 2021, Washington, DC (Photo courtesy Voice of America) Posted for media use

The Summit will reconvene the U.S.-led Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, which brings together 17 countries responsible for approximately 80 percent of global emissions and global GDP.

The President also invited the heads of other countries that are demonstrating strong climate leadership, are especially vulnerable to climate impacts, or are charting innovative pathways to a net-zero economy. A small number of business and civil society leaders will also participate in the Summit.

The European Commission will contribute some good news to the summit. Just today, the EU reached an ambitious agreement to write its climate neutrality target into binding legislation, as a guide to EU policies for the next 30 years. The Climate Law just agreed to aims to shape the EU’s green recovery and ensure a socially just green transition.

The EU’s Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans said, “This agreement reinforces our global position as a leader in tackling the climate crisis. When world leaders gather on Earth Day, the EU will come to the table with this positive news, which we hope will inspire our international partners. This is a good day for our people and our planet.”

Key themes of the Summit include:

* – Galvanizing efforts by the world’s major economies to reduce emissions during this critical decade to keep a limit to warming of 1.5 degree Celsius within reach.

* – Mobilizing public and private sector finance to drive the net-zero transition and to help vulnerable countries cope with climate impacts.

* – The economic benefits of climate action, with a strong emphasis on job creation, and the importance of ensuring all communities and workers benefit from the transition to a new clean energy economy.

* – Spurring transformational technologies that can help reduce emissions and adapt to climate change, while also creating enormous new economic opportunities and building the industries of the future.

* – Showcasing subnational and non-state actors that are committed to green recovery and an equitable vision for limiting warming to 1.5 degree Celsius, and are working closely with national governments to advance ambition and resilience.

* – Discussing opportunities to strengthen capacity to protect lives and livelihoods from the impacts of climate change, address the global security challenges posed by climate change and the impact on readiness, and address the role of nature-based solutions in achieving net zero by 2050 goals.

The Biden administration has pledged to follow the science and listen to the experts on climate. In a first-day executive order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science To Tackle the Climate Crisis, President Biden reconvened the working group of technical experts from across the U.S. government and instructed them to restore the science- and economics-based approach to estimating climate damages that was abandoned during the previous administration.

The President invited the following leaders to participate in the Summit:

Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Antigua and Barbuda

President Alberto Fernandez, Argentina

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Australia

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh

Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, Bhutan

President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada

President Sebastián Piñera, Chile

President Xi Jinping, People’s Republic of China

President Iván Duque Márquez, Colombia

President Félix Tshisekedi, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Denmark

President Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission

President Charles Michel, European Council

President Emmanuel Macron, France

President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Gabon

Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India

President Joko Widodo, Indonesia

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel

Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Italy

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Jamaica

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Japan

President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya

President David Kabua, Republic of the Marshall Islands

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand

President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria

Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Norway

President Andrzej Duda, Poland

President Moon Jae-in, Republic of Korea

President Vladimir Putin, The Russian Federation

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore

President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Spain

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey

President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, United Arab Emirates

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, United Kingdom

President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, Vietnam

By, Sunny Lewis Editor in Chief

Environment News Service (ENS)

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