As Earth Week begins and the Earth Day Summit approaches, President Biden hopes the climate summit will be an opportunity for the nation to reset on climate change.
Announced on March 26, the Leaders Summit on Climate is a virtual meeting of 40 world leaders to discuss climate change and how to combat it around the world. Leaders from countries like India, China, South Korea and Russia will be in attendance for the April 22 and 23 meeting.
Seen as a precursor to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) set to take place in November in Glasgow, President Biden is hoping to secure commitments from other nations to take bolder action against climate change, as well as, rebuild the country’s own climate change advocacy credibility.
According to David Waskow, International Climate Initiative director at the World Resources Institute, the meeting is “an opportunity for the U.S. to come back onto the scene to show it is taking climate change seriously,” as quoted in an article by Steve Baragona for Voice Of America.
Some of the big issues to be tackled as the event include emission reduction, finance, innovation and job creation. As seen with his American Jobs Plan, President Biden is advocating for things like infrastructure and job creation to be intrinsically tied to environmental change.
In addition to world leaders from other emission-heavy countries like the United States, Biden also invited leaders from countries that were leading the charge on sustainability and leaders whose countries were most vulnerable to the impacts of global warming.
According to the same article by Baragona, “averaged over the entire globe, temperatures have increased more than 1.1 degree Celsius since 1880. Scientists link the increase to more severe heat waves, droughts, wildfires, storms and other impacts. And they note that the rate of temperature rise has accelerated since the 1980s.”
In anticipation of the event, the Biden administration is set to announce a new 2030 climate target as way of demonstrating the United States’ commitment to climate change as the largest contributors to global warming.
The summit is the first major event that showcases the nation’s renewed commitment to sustainability and fighting climate change.
So far, government agencies have been seeking to demonstrate heavy commitment to the fight, with the Department of Energy announcing a national goal to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030 and $162 million in funding opportunities to decarbonize cars and trucks, just to name a few.
The summit comes after the former administration, under Donald Trump, revoked numerous environmental regulations and pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement.