Climate change

Biden pledges international climate finance plan during a virtual global climate summit

Biden pledges international climate finance plan to help underwrite the transition to a decarbonized global economy. The US president said this as he presided over a virtual summit of world leaders and called combating climate change “a moral imperative.”

The virtual meeting was attended by 40 world leaders who made new pledges to cut emissions and thanking the president for taking a leadership role on the issue.

Participants in the summit include Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, among many others. The second and final day of the summit is Friday.

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President Biden committed the United States to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 52 percent by 2030, a pledge that would require fast and far-reaching changes to American life, from how people power their homes to the cars they drive.

The announcement roughly doubles a target set by President Barack Obama in 2015 as part of the Paris climate accord, by vowing the nation will reduce its emissions between 50 and 52 percent by 2030 compared with 2005 levels. Mr. Biden plans to formalize the goal in a submission to the United Nations.

The announcement for international climate finance plan comes after the United States rejoined the accord after it became the only nation in the world to formally walk away from the pact under President Donald Trump. While numerous states, cities, and businesses around the country pushed forward with efforts to scale back emissions and mitigate climate change, the federal government remained largely on the sidelines.

Biden’s renewed carbon-cutting pledge and the two-day White House summit are intended in part to reestablish U.S. leadership on international climate action and to kick-start momentum ahead of the U.N. meeting at Scotland, where nations are expected to arrive with bold new blueprints for how they intend to help slow the Earth’s warming.

The world remains nowhere near meeting the central goals of the Paris agreement to limit Earth’s global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) compared with preindustrial levels, and if possible to stay closer to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Failure to meet those targets, scientists have warned, will lead to costly and devastating effects.

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