IGSD

Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development

World leaders to US: “Welcome back to the fight. This time I know our side will win”


22 April 2021, Earth Day- Most world leaders who spoke this morning at President Joe Biden’s Leaders’ Summit welcomed the U.S. back to the climate fight.

Many world leaders echoed President Biden’s science goal of limiting warming to 1.5 °C, and many shared the president’s focus on the decade of action to 2030.

As French President Macron said, “2030 is the new 2050.”

A sense of urgency, speed, ambition, momentum reverberated throughout the morning speeches.

Key developments:

President Xi Jinping, China:

Stresses China’s commitment to “accept the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol” and “to strengthen the control of non-CO2 greenhouse gases”.

And also to “strictly control the growth of coal consumption during the 14th Five-Year period” [2021-2025] and “gradually reduce coal consumption in the 15th Five-Year period” [2026-2030].

President Emmanuel Macron, France:

“I take this opportunity to commend President Biden’s commitment to the Kigali Amendment to phase down HFCs. With President Xi and Chancellor Merkel, we have also committed to doing this together”

“All together, we have to engage in the battle to reduce methane emissions. We are taking every necessary step”

“2030 is the new 2050”

President Alberto Fernández, Argentina:

Stressed “a plan to reduce methane emissions”, “the need for debt-for-climate swaps” and “commitments to protect climate sinks.”

Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Antigua and Barbuda

President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Gabon

President Iván Duque Márquez, Colombia

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Jamaica:

Added their voices to the call for Debt-for-Climate swaps as a source for financing critical mitigation and adaptation action while addressing the global debt crisis.

See the updated U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution, Reducing Greenhouse Gases: A 2030 Emissions Target here, including:

The National Climate Task Force conducted a whole-of-government process to develop this nationally determined contribution. The process included a bottom-up analysis of existing and potential policies and measures at the federal level, accounting for capital stock turnover, technology trends, infrastructure needs, and continued subnational policies and measures. The analysis considered multiple pathways across all sources of greenhouse gas emissions:

    • The energy sector including electricity, transportation, buildings, and industry;
    • Land sector CO2 including forests and soil carbon, as well as other opportunities for emissions reductions, such as ocean-based solutions; and,
    • Non-CO2 greenhouse gases including hydrofluorocarbons, methane, and N2O, as well as other opportunities for reducing black carbon emissions.

See IGSD President Durwood Zaelke’s interview on the Summit, Is it possible to limit global warming to below 2 Degrees Celsius? here.

See upcoming film Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet, narrated by Sir David Attenborough and featuring Professor Johan Rockström on the risks of self-reinforcing climate feedbacks here.