President Joe Biden has wrapped up his two-day climate summit, saying the climate crisis has created an opportunity to remake the global economy and produce millions of jobs in clean energy and technology “while doing so much good″ to slow climate change.
Speaking at the White House as the virtual summit concluded Friday, Biden asked, “Was there anything else you can think of that could create as many good jobs going into the 21st century?″
Biden says the climate crisis also provides an opportunity for the U.S. to work with longtime rivals such as Russia. He says that while he has often disagreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader now is “talking about how you capture carbon from space.”
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry praises Biden for convening the summit during his first 100 days in office. Kerry says the next 10 years are crucial to slow global warming and “avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis.”
Kerry says that’s the reason for the climate summit and “This has to be the decade of decision.″
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE GLOBAL CLIMATE SUMMIT:
The White House brings out the billionaires, the CEOs and the union executives to help sell President Joe Biden’s climate-friendly transformation of the U.S. economy at his virtual summit of world leaders.
— EXPLAINER: How come nations’ climate targets don’t compare?
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:
World leaders are pledging action on climate change on the virtual climate summit’s second day.
Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on Friday renewed her country’s pledge to end oil and gas exploration in the North Sea, switching to massive wind farms. Danish companies are planning several wind farms off the U.S. East Coast as part of the Biden administration’s plan to boost offshore wind.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his country is a global leader in cutting coal use and says renewable energy will be producing a third of Israel’s energy by the end of the decade. Netanyahu also pledges improvements on battery storage, saying hundreds Israeli start-ups are working on the issue.
Vietnam President Nguyen Xuan Phuc says climate disasters have taken hundreds of lives in his country, which he says is “suffering immensely from rising sea levels.”
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari says his government has implemented programs to transition from use of wood stoves to kerosene and other energy sources.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta calls on wealthy nations to contribute at least $100 billion to address climate change.
Opening the final session of the two-day virtual global climate summit, President Joe Biden says he wants to shift the conversation from climate threat to economic opportunities.
Biden said Friday, “This is a moment for all of us to build better economies for our children, our grandchildren.”
Biden says America “is once again stepping into a leadership role” and pledges to cooperate with other nations in researching and deploying new strategies to decarbonize key industries.
Biden says future jobs will involve installing electric-vehicle charging stations, manufacturing solar panels, researching sustainable farming practices and working in other new industries. But he says economic transitions shouldn’t leave other workers behind. He says, “We must ensure that workers who thrived in yesterday’s and today’s industries” also have a bright future.
Biden says the hard work of implementing the ambitious climate change targets lies ahead and the two-day summit “is a start.”
An independent research organization says the American goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52% from 2005 levels puts the United States among the four most ambitious nations in curbing climate change.
The Rhodium Group said early Friday that using the U.S.-preferred 2005 baseline, America is behind the United Kingdom but right with the European Union. It’s ahead of countries that include Canada, Japan, Iceland and Norway.
President Joe Biden announced the U.S. goal at the virtual climate summit on Thursday.
Different nations use different base years for their emission cuts so comparisons are difficult and can look different based on baseline years.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the world needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions 45% below 2010 levels to limit warming to the strictest of the Paris agreement goals. Rhodium calculates the U.S. target translates to 49% below 2010 levels.
An analysis shows President Joe Biden’s climate summit and the run-up to it cut the so-called emissions gap, a crucial measurement used to see if the world can limit global warming, by about one-eighth.
Climate Action Tracker is a group of scientists who monitor nations’ pledges of carbon pollution cuts. It calculated that targets announced since last September cut about 12% to 14% from the emissions gap.
That emissions gap is that big area between what nations promise to do and the pollution reductions needed by 2030 to limit future warming to another half a degree, which is the stricter of two goals adopted by the 2015 Paris climate deal.
The tracker calculated the announcements cut between 2.9 and 4.1 billion tons of carbon from the gap.
With the new targets from the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Japan and Canada, the new emissions gap is 22 to 26 billion tons of carbon pollution. The tracker says before those pledges it was 25 to 30 billion tons.
Climate scientist Niklas Hohne says “we are now starting to see the kind of near-term climate action the world needs to win the race to zero by 2050.” Hohne says, “While the gap is still huge, the summit created new momentum.”
Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates have helped pitch President Joe Biden’s climate-friendly transformation of the U.S. economy on Day 2 of the world leaders’ virtual summit.
Bloomberg says combatting climate change will depend on improving financial transparency about the risks of global warming.
Bloomberg said Friday that companies need to provide financial disclosures on climate risks, so that investors can direct funding to businesses that are mitigating the threats of climate change. He says it will take historic investments to beat the challenge of global warning.
Bloomberg says mayors and CEOs tell him they want to do more to tackle climate change but need more help. The multibillionaire founder of a financial data and news company is a special U.N. envoy on climate change issues.
Gates thanked Biden and U.S. climate envoy John Kerry for reestablishing the U.S. leading role on tackling climate change. Gates says, “This is a promising moment.”
Gates says activists and young people are rightly demanding action. He says, “Governments around the globe are meeting those demands with ambitious commitments.”
Gates says climate change is “an incredibly complex issue and using just today’s technologies won’t allow us to meet out ambitious goals.”
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry has kicked off the second day of the global climate summit with a commitment to meet the challenge with historic amount of new investment.
The former secretary of state said Friday he heard from representatives of 63 countries on the first day of the summit, from all regions of the world. Many nations have bold plans but lack the resources to implement those plans.
Kerry says, “There is polite but obvious frustration that was manifested by many who have contributed so little to the crisis but who have to deal with so much of the consequences.″
At the same time, Kerry said participants enthusiastically reported one after the other about “significant and exciting measures that they’re taking.″
The agenda for the second day will focus on the economic opportunities of combating climate change and the need for technological innovations.