World ‘We have to act now,’ Biden says at climate meeting with leaders

00:20  18 september  2021
00:20  18 september  2021 Source:   aljazeera.com

How Delta Beat Biden

  How Delta Beat Biden The new administration promised competency and efficiency, but it has struggled all year with consistent pandemic messaging.Standing behind a lectern adorned with the presidential seal, he peered out at the hundreds of maskless guests drinking beer and eating pulled pork on the South Lawn of the White House. “Thanks to our heroic vaccine effort, we’ve gained the upper hand against this virus,” Biden said. “We can live our lives, our kids can go back to school, our economy is roaring back.” Surely there was reason to celebrate.

United States President Joe Biden tried to hammer out the world’s next steps against rapidly worsening climate change in a private, virtual session with a small group of other global leaders.

graphical user interface, website: Biden called for bringing 'highest possible ambitions' to upcoming UN climate summit in Glasgow [Evan Vucci/AP photo] © Provided by Al Jazeera Biden called for bringing 'highest possible ambitions' to upcoming UN climate summit in Glasgow [Evan Vucci/AP photo]

Biden announced on Friday a new US-European pledge to cut climate-wrecking methane leaks.

Ever-grimmer findings from scientists this year that the world is nearing the point where the level of climate damage from burning oil, gas and coal becomes catastrophic and irreversible “represent a code red for humanity,” Biden said at the session’s outset.

The Green New Deal Does Not, Strictly Speaking, Exist

  The Green New Deal Does Not, Strictly Speaking, Exist The idea has reshaped global climate policy, but is far less concrete than its supporters have been led to believe.Since its ascension in 2018, the Green New Deal has defined the terms of the global climate debate. Perhaps no other climate policy in history has been as successful. Democrats and Republicans alike have been judged by how closely they seem to hew to it. The Sunrise Movement, the highest-profile American climate-activism group, rallies for it. Abroad, the European Union has dubbed its 1-trillion-euro attempt to decarbonize its economy “the European Green Deal.

“We have to act and we have to act now,” Biden said.

The White House provided a transcript of the president’s opening remarks from the otherwise private talks.

Biden cited his trips earlier this month to California, where firefighters are battling larger, fiercer and deadlier wildfires almost year round as temperatures rise and drought worsens, and to the northeastern US and Gulf Coast, where Hurricane Ida and its flooding killed scores, as natural disasters increase in number and severity under climate change.

Biden evoked the “damage and destruction” he had seen in the US, massive flooding in Europe and other global damage from the warming climate.

UN warns of ‘catastrophic’ global warming

The event came as the United Nations released a report projecting a “catastrophic” rise of 2.7C in temperature by the end of the century “unless actions are taken immediately”.

How bad will climate change get?

  How bad will climate change get? These five climate scenarios show us what the future of the planet could look like.Humans have already warmed the planet by at least 1 degree Celsius by burning fossil fuels that spew heat-trapping gases into the sky. The oceans are rising, and deadly disasters like wildfires, heat waves, and flooding are becoming more destructive. Almost every part of the world is experiencing the effects of climate change.

“This is breaking the promise made six years ago to pursue the 1.5-degree Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement commenting on the report. “Failure to meet this goal will be measured in the massive loss of lives and livelihoods.”

The Biden administration, which rejoined the Paris Agreement that former President Donald Trump exited, billed Friday’s meeting as a chance for some of the world leaders to strategise how to achieve big, fast cuts in climate-wrecking petroleum and coal emissions.

The administration also is trying to re-establish the United States’ Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, a climate group set up by President Barack Obama and revived by Biden, as a significant platform for international climate negotiations.

Friday’s meeting followed a much bigger virtual White House climate summit in April that saw scores of heads of governments – representing allies and rivals, and big economies and small – making sweeping speeches about the need for action against climate change.

Jill Biden brings vaccine cheer at clinic visit with Emmitt Smith

  Jill Biden brings vaccine cheer at clinic visit with Emmitt Smith Jill Biden brought on the COVID vaccine cheer on Tuesday when she and football star Emmitt Smith visited a vaccination clinic in Dallas. 'We’re going to get a touch down,' the first lady said as she encouraged Texans to get a shot in the arm. “In the sports sense we’re in the fourth quarter and the game is not finished,” Smith said as he reminded people to get vaccinated.The stop came ahead of Biden and Doug Emhoff pairing up for a vaccine tour of the Southwest, urging people to get shots in the arms in two states with some of the lowest vaccination rates in the nation.

The list provided of Friday’s attendees included only a dozen leaders: those of Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, the European Commission, the European Council, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United Nations.

China, India and Russia, with the United States, are the nations that emit the most climate-damaging gases from the production and burning of oil, natural gas and coal.

There was no word on their leaders taking part. However, the White House said in a statement that Biden had directed his climate envoy, John Kerry, to lead a minister-level climate session afterwards with China, Germany, India and Russia. It gave no other immediate details.

Climate advocates have stressed the importance of the US coordinating with Europe and Asia for a joint front in coaxing China, which emits more climate-damaging fumes than the rest of the developed world combined, to move faster on cutting its use of dirty-burning coal-fired power plants in particular.

Methane-reduction push

Biden also discussed a new US push with the European Union and others aiming to launch a “global methane pledge” to cut emissions of methane by 30 percent by the end of this decade.

China’s disruption of ocean carbon sinks betrays its climate commitments

  China’s disruption of ocean carbon sinks betrays its climate commitments Vitally important 'blue carbon' sinks — marine ecosystems that capture and store carbon — are being threatened by China's massive ocean expansion.Blue carbon is a strategic global climate asset, but disruptions to it are currently not even systematically measured, much less reported, by leading disruptor China or any other nation. Kerry can publicly highlight the issue and begin making the case for factoring seabed and marine ecosystem disruption into the global climate policy equation.

Methane is one of the most potent agents of climate damage, gushing up by the tonne from countless uncapped oil and gas rigs, leaky natural gas pipelines, and other oil and gas facilities.

“This will not only rapidly reduce the rate of global warming, but it will also produce a very valuable side benefit, like improving public health and agricultural output,” Biden said.

Fred Krupp, president of the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund, said cutting methane pollution is the single fastest, most effective strategy to slow the rate of warming.

A 30 percent reduction in methane pollution should be only “the entry point for this critical conversation. Many countries can and should aim even higher,” Krupp told the Associated Press news agency.

The pledge comes as the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to propose stricter rules against methane emissions for the oil and gas sector, as laid out in one of Biden’s first executive orders.

The new rules, expected in the next two weeks, are likely to be stricter than an Obama-era standard set in 2016. The Obama standard was reinstated in June after Congress took the unusual step of invalidating a Trump-era EPA rollback of methane protections.

The pending EPA rule is expected to restrict methane emissions from new and existing wells, including hundreds of thousands of older wells that are not subject to federal regulation under current law.

Friday’s session precedes a major UN climate summit in Glasgow in November. “We have to bring to Glasgow our highest possible ambitions. Those that have not yet done so, time is running out,” Biden said.

Indo-Pacific leaders hold first Quad nations meeting .
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has met with the leaders of the US, Japan and India for the first face-to face meeting of the Quad nations in the White House. Mr Morrison stressed the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific with the four leaders also announcing significant initiatives on vaccine diplomacy, climate change, infrastructure and space exploration."The Indo-Pacific is a region that we wish to be always free from coercion, where the sovereign rights of all nations are respected and where disputes are settled peacefully and accordance with international law," Mr Morrison said.

usr: 0
This is interesting!