This will be decisive decade to tackle climate change: Biden

US President Joe Biden has told a major summit that we are in a “decisive decade” for tackling climate change.
The US has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by the year 2030. This new target, which was unveiled at a virtual summit of 40 global leaders, essentially doubles their previous promise.
But the leaders of India and China, two of the world’s biggest emitters, made no new commitments.
“Scientists tell us that this is the decisive decade – this is the decade we must make decisions that will avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis,” President Biden said at the summit’s opening address.
“We must try to keep the Earth’s temperature to an increase of 1.5C. The world beyond 1.5 degrees means more frequent and intense fires, floods, droughts, heatwaves and hurricanes – tearing through communities, ripping away lives and livelihoods.”
He said there was a moral and economic imperative to immediately act on climate change.
Referring to America’s new carbon-cutting pledge, President Biden added: “The signs are unmistakable, the science is undeniable, and the cost of inaction keeps mounting.
“The US isn’t waiting, we are resolving to take action.”
Climate activist Greta Thunberg, who was testifying before Congress on Thursday, challenged world leaders to do more on the climate crisis.
“Unlike you, my generation will not give up without a fight,” she said. “How long do you honestly believe that people in power will get away with it?”
The UK is playing a critical role this year as president of the crucial COP26 later this year. The government is tasked with achieving agreement in Glasgow when world leaders meet there in November.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in ebullient form on his virtual conference address. He assured global leaders that tackling climate change was “not bunny-hugging”.
At the summit, Mr Johnson called President Biden’s announcement about cutting US greenhouse gas emissions “game-changing”.
“We can do this together across the world. It’s going to mean the richest nations coming together and exceeding the $100bn commitment they already made in 2009,” he said. – BBC News