Forty world leaders convened on Thursday (April 22) for US President Joe Biden’s two-day Leaders Summit on Climate.
Leaders of countries like Brazil, Canada and Japan made commitments to curb domestic greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change. Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshide Suga said the country was “ready to demonstrate its leadership” on the climate.
But the leaders of India and China made no new commitments.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said: “Russia is genuinely interested in galvanizing international cooperation so as to look further for effective solutions to climate change as well as to all other vital challenges.”
The pledges come shortly after Biden vowed to reduce U.S. emissions by 50%-52% by 2030, one of the most ambitious goals for a developed country. Climate has been the central focus of the Biden administration’s first few months in office.
“The signs are unmistakable, the science is undeniable that the cost of inaction, it just keeps mounting. The United States isn’t waiting. We are resolving to take action, not only our federal government, but our cities and our states all across our country, small businesses, large corporations, American workers in every field,” the US President said.
Pope Francis contributed a video from the Vatican, saying, “I wish you success in this beautiful decision to meet, walk together going forward and I am with you all the way.”
Meanwhile, Europe wants to be “the first climate-neutral continent in the world,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during the summit. “Yesterday, we agreed Europe’s first-ever Climate Law with the European Parliament and our 27 governments. With this, we write into stone the goal set out by the European Green Deal – to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050,” she said.
Of note, a new report from the reinsurance giant Swiss Re warns that without action, climate change could reduce global economic output by $23 trillion annually by mid-century.
With reporting by news agencies