The Leaders Summit on Climate: the Largest Virtual Climate Conference of World Leaders

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Artwork/Kayla Zhang’24

Divya Sharma, Online Sports Editor

On April 22 and April 23, President Joe Biden hosted the largest virtual gathering of world leaders, the Leaders Summit on Climate. The summit was a conference to discuss the ongoing climate crisis on our planet, and further reflected President Biden’s commitment to spreading awareness and combating the climate crisis 

Throughout this conference, the Biden Administration continuously reiterated that their main objective was to prove that the United States can and will take climate action that will simultaneously ensure economic prosperity. On the first day of the conference, President Biden stated his plan for the United States which included the nation moving towards a green/greener economy in all job sectors, which will create jobs for blue-collar workers; he also stated that the nation’s goal for the economy is to have net-zero carbon emissions at the latest by 2050. 

Along with the economy, the most noteworthy goal set by President Biden throughout the duration of the summit was to reduce the United States’s greenhouse gas emissions to at least 50% below the 2005 level. In addition to the United States’s climate objectives, the Leaders Summit on Climate also included many speeches and objectives stated by nations around the world to combat this global catastrophe. For instance, Japan pledged that they will cut their greenhouse gas emissions to almost 50% below their 2013 emission level, and Brazil pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, as well as attempt to ban illegal deforestation by 2030. 

Many of the pledges from Biden have come with praise but also some concerns as to whether they are just promises or will actually get passed in the divided status of the United States. Senior and EnAct co-head Abby Weinstein said, “To be honest, though, part of me feels like this summit was really just meant to be symbolic—they told us what we want to hear, but I’m not convinced that the policy will take shape as fast as the commitment. Like, if we can’t even get a bill addressing infrastructure, an issue everyone agrees needs to be dealt with, passed without major concessions (if at all), what will it be like when the bill’s focus is on climate change, something half the nation neglects/denies?” However, overall the summit brought about this concept of new hope in our nation. Weinstein said, “It made me feel good to read about what happened. Biden made some very reassuring pledges like an international finance plan.”

All of these ideas and objectives are given by countries from around the world to display a call to action as well as emphasize the urgent need for changes in our practices that will hopefully arrive soon in our nation. 

 

Sources: 

  • “Leaders Summit on Climate Summary of Proceedings.” The White House, The United States Government, 23 Apr. 2021, www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/04/23/leaders-summit-on-climate-summary-of-proceedings/. 
  • Sullivan, Kate, and Kevin Liptak. “Biden Announces US Will Aim to Cut Carbon Emissions by as Much as 52% by 2030 at Virtual Climate Summit | CNN Politics.” CNN, Cable News Network, 23 Apr. 2021, www.cnn.com/2021/04/22/politics/white-house-climate-summit/index.html. 
  • “The Leaders’ Summit on Climate 2021: A Summary.” Earth.Org – Past | Present | Future, 3 May 2021, earth.org/leaders-summit-on-climate-2021-a-summary/. 
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