Joe Biden pleaded for countries to do more to tackle the climate emergency, telling the COP27 summit that world leaders “can no longer invoke ignorance” and that time to address the crisis was running out.
“The science is devastatingly clear – we have to make progress by the end of this decade,” Biden told a large crowd of delegates at the talks in Egypt. The US President has stated that America is taking action to reduce greenhouse emissions and that other major economies need to “step up” to avoid a catastrophic violation of 1.5°C of global warming.
“Let us raise the level of our ambition and the speed of our efforts,” he said in his Friday speech in Sharm el-Sheikh. “If we are to win this battle, every major emitter needs to align with 1.5°C. We can no longer invoke ignorance of the consequences of our actions or continue to repeat our mistakes. Everyone must continue to accelerate progress during this crucial decade.”
Bolstered by better-than-expected Democratic midterm election results this week, Biden said governments need to “mark progress” in curbing emissions. Scientists have warned that the world is heading toward catastrophic levels of global warming, with emissions still not falling fast enough to avoid extreme heat waves, wildfires, drought and other impacts of the climate crisis.
“It’s been a difficult few years. The interconnected challenges we face may appear to be completely draining,” said Biden, who has accused Vladimir Putin of using “energy as a weapon” in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an action that has sent energy and food prices soaring globally. “It is against this backdrop that it is more urgent than ever that we redouble our commitment to climate.”
Biden, who was briefly boycotted by a small group of whooping climate protesters, said the United States was committed to helping developing countries hard hit by climate impacts, but made no mention of making payments via “losses and damages,” a hot topic. policeman 27 The most pressing issue is for vulnerable communities already experiencing exacerbation of disasters.
The protesters were young, indigenous activists from the United States, and demanded that Biden stop pushing for fossil fuel extraction. “The president, members of Congress and the State Department have come to this international forum on climate change proposing wrong solutions that won’t get us to 1.5 degrees,” said Paige Wind, 29, a member of the Northern Arapahoe Tribe in Wyoming.
He said, referring to an announcement earlier this week by US climate envoy John Kerry, Bezos Earth Fund and PepsiCo among others about the design plans. power transmission accelerator.
Biden used the speech to unveil a number of new measures, including a plan to cut methane emissions in the United States, support for new early warning systems for severe weather disasters in Africa, and an agreement to support new solar and wind energy projects in Egypt in exchange for the country shutting down generating plants. Gas electricity and emissions reduction.
Biden’s notable pledge is Methane reduction planIt is a potent greenhouse gas that is routinely leached from oil and gas exploration and gas flaring itself, and from agriculture. Methane does not persist in the atmosphere as long as carbon dioxide, but it traps 80 times more heat, on average, in the 20 years after it is released.
New cuts to methane could be scaled back elsewhere. slow from New gas projects in the United Statesapproved by the federal government, could cause a 500% increase in methane emissions in the decade to 2030 if all planned developments continue, according to Bill Hare, chief executive of the company. Climate Analytics.
“So while it’s a very good idea to clean up runaway methane from the oil and gas industry, let’s be clear — the United States is ramping up its gas production at a time when it should be working on how to cut it,” Hare said.
Newly enhanced standards will help reduce methane emissions by 87% by 2030, compared to 2005 levels, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, through new regulations to limit gas flaring and methane leaks from oil and gas drills and pumps. A new program will require oil and gas companies to respond to third-party reports of methane leaks.
Environmental groups have called on Biden, still facing the prospect of a Republican takeover of Congress after the midterm elections, to exercise the unilateral power of the presidency more aggressively to shift away from using fossil fuels.
“The new methane reduction plan is welcome and long overdue, but President Biden must advance more of these negotiations,” said Jan Su, director of the Energy Equity Program at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It is time for Biden to declare a climate emergency and stop approving new fossil fuel projects that will release more methane into the atmosphere, even with these standards.”
It has been proven to be a US mixed Cop27 in Sharm El Sheikh. The US delegation was eager to promote the passage of the Reputation Enhancement Act, the comprehensive package of clean energy subsidies and the first major climate law enacted by the United States. John Kerry, the US climate envoy, called the law “transformative” and “one of the most important bills of the past 50 years.”
But critics point out that the United States has not yet provided anywhere near the level of climate finance that befits its role as the world’s economic superpower and the largest carbon polluter in history. Even the $11 billion the United States has already promised to support developing countries devastated by storms, fires and climate-induced drought, which Kerry has acknowledged is not enough, is uncertain given Congress’s likely makeup.
The issue of “loss and damage” – the money for repair and reconstruction that rich countries pay to poor countries suffering inevitable plunder due to the climate crisis – was on the agenda at COP27 but US officials said discussions about what kind of financing mechanism could It takes another two years.
“We have a responsibility, we’ve made a commitment,” Nancy Pelosi, the current Speaker of the House of Representatives, said of developing countries on a visit to COP27. But, she added, “It’s a challenge, and we haven’t succeeded yet, in getting the global funding we need to be good neighbors on this planet.”
“President Biden wants to maintain the 1.5°C goal, and he insists that every emitter do its part,” said Alice Hill, a former climate adviser to Barack Obama. “He announced a slew of new climate programs, but he couldn’t deliver more than the world wanted.” Developing – enough money to adapt to extreme weather conditions. It will need Congress to cooperate to make that happen.”
Activists from around the world said at Cop27 that the US needs to do more, but US planet-heating emissions are expected to rise by about 1.5% this year, due to increased gas use and a rebound in air travel after the depths of the Covid pandemic.
Mohamed Addo, Director of Research Center Power Shift Africa.
“We are paying the price for the corporate crime and the global north, who have made Pakistan the epicenter of climate disasters,” said Farooq Tariq, a veteran climate activist from Pakistan. Floods have inundated more than a third of his country since June, displacing more than 30 million people, and scientists He said Global warming is likely to exacerbate the disaster.
“We don’t want more words, we want debt suspension, we want reparations, we want climate justice,” Tariq said.