WASHINGTON: A two-day climate summit ended on Friday, with US President Joe Biden, the host of the online conference, welcoming as “great progress” pledges made by participating countries and regions for the fight against global warming.
At the virtual summit, 40 world leaders, including Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Chinese President Xi Jinping, delivered speeches. The United States, Japan and other advanced nations unveiled their new emissions cut targets. Suga said in his speech that Japan aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in fiscal 2030 by 46 pct from the level in fiscal 2013, far more ambitious than its earlier target of a 26 percent reduction.
“I’m grateful to all the leaders who have announced new commitments to help us meet the existential threat of climate change,” Biden said in an address.
The summit is “a start of a road that will take us to” the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Britain, in November, where “we’re going to make these commitments real, putting all of our nations on path to a secure, prosperous and sustainable future.”
China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, said it aims to reduce domestic coal consumption, and India expressed its readiness to increase the use of renewable energy. South Korea said it will terminate financing for coal-fired thermal power generation abroad while Brazil vowed to end illegal deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.
Every country should make investment toward creating jobs and promoting technological innovations through accelerated use of renewable energy sources, Biden said, apparently aiming in part to brush aside concerns that strict environmental regulations could hamper economic growth.
The Biden administration announced that the United States, as the host of the climate summit, will double the sum of funds for supporting developing countries’ measures against climate change from the amount during the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama.
With some developing nations still reluctant to step up their fight against climate change, it is believed that the Biden administration hopes to leverage the expanded support to lead the UN climate talks in November.