President Joe Biden addressed the United Nations Climate Change Conference Friday and said the U.S. will work to avoid a “climate hell” following a UN report indicating greenhouse gasses will rise 10.6% by 2030 over 2010 levels.
“The climate crisis is about human security, economic security, environmental security, national security and the very life of the planet,” Biden told the conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
Biden responded to calls from poor nations pleading for more financial aid to fight climate change, noting that “countries that are in a position to help should be supporting developing countries so that they can make decisive climate decisions.”
A 2021 pledge to commit $11 billion annually to fight climate change will be upheld, Biden said.
The U.S. is responsible for an estimated 30% of global methane emissions, according to the White House, as it prepares to reduce emissions by 75% through new regulations sought out by the Environmental Protection Agency.
UN Secretary General António opened the summit Monday urging the world’s leading emitters—including the U.S—to do more, suggesting the Earth is on “a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator.”
$150 million. That’s how much the U.S. will send to climate adaptation efforts in Africa through its Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience.
“Against this backdrop, it’s more urgent than ever that we double down on our climate commitments,” Biden said, adding that the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has only enhanced “the urgency of the need to transition the world off its dependence on fossil fuels.”
What To Watch For
Biden transitions from the climate summit to the East Asia Summit in Cambodia on November 12 before a meeting of the Group of 20 in Indonesia on November 14.
A Thursday report by the Global Carbon Project revealed that 1.4 billion tons of carbon dioxide need to be cut each year from global emissions in order to reach zero emissions by 2050.
During the 2015 meeting, nations signed the Paris Agreement—including the U.S., which left the agreement in 2020 before returning in 2021—and agreed to cut emissions in order to keep the catastrophic effects of climate change at bay. Scientists have recently cast doubt over whether several countries will be able to meet the agreement’s landmark goal of holding temperatures to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. New policies and increased efforts to develop renewable energy have improved projections, though they have not been enough. A recent UN report indicates global temperatures will increase by as much as 2.9 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.