The virtual Leaders Climate Summit was held on the 22nd and 23rd of April 2021, led by President Joe Biden. 40 world leaders, 14 cabinet members, 8 CEOs and Pope Francis attended the Summit, announcing renewed targets on climate goals and new collaborations on climate actions.
One of the biggest takeaways from the global climate action Summit was Biden’s promise that the US will cut at least 50% of the country’s emissions this decade compared to 2005 levels. The renewed target is ambitious as it is twice the commitment from the 2015 Paris Agreement of 26%-28% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.
There is still no roll-out plan on how the country will achieve that but the President mentioned his proposed investments into climate action. Biden did urge global leaders to take action, setting up an example with bold targets to tackle climate change in USA.
“The signs are unmistakable, the science is undeniable that the cost of inaction, it just keeps mounting. The United States isn’t waiting. We are resolving to take action, not only our federal government, but our cities and our states all across our country, small businesses, large corporations, American workers in every field,” said Biden.
To encourage global cooperation, the President did point out the growth of sustainable jobs that investments in clean technologies are bringing to the economies. Boris Johnson also confirmed that saying the UK has been able to cut CO2 emissions by about 42% compared to 1990 levels while seeing the economy grow by 73%.
Countries’ Commitments At The Leaders Climate Summit
Some of the countries that declared new targets are Japan, Brazil and Canada. Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro claimed to end illegal deforestation by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. He asked for the large investment of $1 billion from the US administration that would go for forest conservation efforts.
Japan’s renewed target is to curb emissions by 46% by 2030 compared with 2013 levels – up from the previous reduction target of 26%. “Japan is ready to demonstrate its leadership for worldwide decarbonization,” said Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
Canada also showed an ambitious commitment of a 40% to 45% slash by 2030 compared with 2005 levels. The previous pledge was for a 30% cut of emissions for that period. China also re-confirmed its previously known target of carbon neutrality by 2060.
India and the US launched a joint Climate and Clean Energy Agenda Partnership for 2030. The two countries will cooperate to meet the Paris Agreement 2030 goal and will work together on developing clean technologies and bilateral climate action.
Russia and Brazil have surprised the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. Putin said during the Summit that Russia is “genuinely interested” in global cooperation. He made an announcement that his country was “ready to propose a whole range of joint projects” on climate. Mr Kerry commented that Putin was “pretty rational” and had some “decent visionary thoughts on things”.
Regarding Brazilian President Bolsonaro, he added: “Some of the comments that President Bolsonaro made today surprised me for they’re- that’s pretty good, that works, if you do those things. The question is will they do them? And the question is what’s the follow through and enforcement.”
Another major takeaway from the Summit is that Europe declared its intention to be “the first climate-neutral continent in the world,” according to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The EU agreed to cut emissions by 55% by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2050.
The global Leaders Climate Summit marked a step towards bigger climate commitments and bold targets set by the US President. The US made intentions to prioritize climate in public investments and also collaborate with nations to support the other countries’s decarbonization needs.