On Friday, World leaders joined American President Joe Biden to close his virtual climate summit with tales of their national drives to break free of climate-wrecking fossil fuels, Kenyans leapfrogging from kerosene stoves to geothermal energy and Israeli start-ups scrambling to improve battery storage.
Biden urged, ‘We are going to do this together,’ speaking live to a Zoom-style screen of leaders of national administrations, business executives, and unions worldwide.
President Biden’s closing message echoed the thoughts of Kenyan President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta. He told the summit that they couldn’t win that fight against climate change unless they go worldwide to fight it together.
The final day of Mr. Biden’s summit of forty world leaders made a case for massive investment now, in America and worldwide, for prosperous and cleaner economies in the long run.
Compared with America and other wealthy but carbon-dependent countries, Kenya stands out as a poorer country, closing the tech gap despite limited economic resources. It has moved in decades from dirty burning coal, wood-fires, and kerosene to become a top user and producer of geothermal energy, solar-power, and wind, all aided by mobile-phone banking.
The summit’s opening Thursday saw six countries, including the United States of America, pledge specific, significant new efforts to cut emissions. And other summit speakers, including Xi Jinping (Chinese President), whose country is the top climate polluter, held out the likelihood of deepening their promises, in China’s case, by easing back on building of coal-fired plants.
Joe Biden’s pledge, nearly doubling the United States target for cutting emissions from petroleum and coal these recent years, depends on his keeping political support from voters and securing more than $2T for a countrywide infrastructure overhaul.
On Friday, speaking to the home audience as much as the international one, Biden said that the commitments they have made must become real. Moreover, commitment without doing anything is a lot of hot air, no pun intended.
Mr. Biden wondered aloud if anything else world leaders could think of that could create as many good jobs as going into the 21st century.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the climate summit into its virtual setup, with a T.V talk show-style set created in the White House East Room. The Cabinet Secretaries moved in as emcees to keep the live-streamed action moving.
It was all in service of an argument official say would make or break U.S. President’s climate plan. Moreover, pouring trillions of dollars into clean-energy technology, research, and infrastructure would speed a competitive American economy into the future and create good-paying jobs while saving Earth.
GOPs are sticking to the arguments that then-President Trump made in pulling America out of the 2015 Paris climate agreement. They point to China as the worst climate polluter, the United States is No. 2, and say any transition to clean-energy hurts U.S. oil, coal, and natural gas workers.
Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, said on the Senate floor on Thursday in a speech in which he dismissed the government’s plans as costly and ineffective that it means putting good-paying U.S. jobs into the shredder.
Much of the proposed spending to address climate change is included in the American President’s infrastructure bill, which would pay for safe bridges, new roads, and reliable public transit while boosting electric vehicles (EVs), clean drinking water, and investments in clean energy such as wind and solar-power.
Joe Biden’s plan faces a steep road in the closely divided United States Senate, where GOPs led by McConnell have objected significantly to the paying idea for much of it with tax growths on corporations.
The White House says government officials would continue to reach out to GOPs and would remind them that the proposal’s ideas are extensively popular with American people of all political persuasions.
Friday also featured billionaires Mike Bloomberg and Bill Gates, electrical and steelworker union leaders, and executives for solar and other renewable energy.
Mr. Bloomberg said that they could not beat climate change without a historic amount of new investment.
Joe Biden envoy John Kerry stressed the political selling point that the President’s call for retrofitting creaky United States infrastructure to run more cleanly would put America on a better economic footing long-term.
Kerry said that no one is being asked for a sacrifice, and that is an opportunity.
On Thursday, on the summit’s opening day, Mr. Biden pledged America would cut fossil fuel emissions by as much as fifty-two percent by 2030. Moreover, Canada, Japan, South Africa, and South Korea joined in specific new emissions efforts timed to the Climate summit.
An independent research organization, the Rhodium Group, announced overnight that President Biden’s new goal puts America among the most ambitious countries in curbing climate change.
Different countries use different base years for their emission cuts, so comparisons are tough and can look different based on baseline years. The Rhodium Group said using America-preferred 2005 baseline; the U.S. is behind the U.K. but right with the European Union (EU). It is ahead of the second tier of nations, including Japan, Canada, Iceland, and Norway.