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As Kerry secures climate commitment to China, here are other things to watch out for at Earth Day summit in Biden


Climate change was a major theme during President Joe Biden’s first 100 days in power, incl in a giant infrastructure pitch. Now, the administration is looking to regain its global leadership in a fight to slow human-generated global warming at a closely watched summit this week.

At the virtual conference held April 22 to 23 – a meeting considered the precursor to the COP26 climate talks hosted by the United Nations in Glasgow in November – the Biden administration attended The plan to encourage the efforts of major economies around the world “to reduce emissions over a decade-long period to keep the warming limit of 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) within reach. “

Forty global leaders were invited, including 17 major economies responsible for about 80% of global emissions. Essentially, the United States has stood out from global climate efforts under President Trump and some goodwill will need to be restored.

Alice C. Hill said: “If the United States does not go forward and demonstrate that it is committed to addressing climate threats, it is hard to imagine the rest of the world feeling fertile. effort in that effort. of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Read: Cutting these 30% of emissions could provide health benefits of up to $ 68 billion a year

On the eve of the conference, the US and China, the two largest carbon pollutants in the world, Sunday agreed to cooperate to curb climate change with urgency.

According to a joint statement, US climate envoy John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua reached an agreement during two-day talks in Shanghai last week.

The Sino-US relationship on climate change has been and is a tense pursuit because China’s human rights abuses, trade negotiations and territorial claims over Taiwan and the South China Sea are threatening to do so. undermine those efforts. China’s willingness to curb its own pollution was controversial as most Republicans assessed the US’s aggressive action to tackle climate change.

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Here are other key areas that policy watchers believe can find traction this week:

Main intermediate target: 2030 NDC

Biden is committed to announcing new emissions reduction targets for 2030 at or before the summit. This goal will be part of the US national climate commitment under the Paris Agreement, known as a nationally defined contribution (NDC).. Many environmental groups have said that the Biden administration should commit to cutting emissions below 2005 levels by 2030 to make a significant decrease for the year 2050 net-zero of the United States.

Leadership from more than 300 businesses and investors, including Apple
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signed an open letter to Biden in early April, expressed support for the 50% target. Union of interested scientists has come up its own call for such action.

That target will nearly double the previous US commitment to reduce emissions.

The European Union and the UK have submitted a new NDCS. But other major economies have yet to match the NDC 2030 with their long-term emissions targets of Japan, South Korea, Canada and China.

UN reports indicate that without more drastic 2030 targets, most major economies moving is not fast enough to meet net zero commitments to 2050 that have dominated political foundations ever since.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been invited, and Bloomberg reported about his attendance plan. But his Economy Ministry, the agency responsible for emissions policy, gave no indication that it would reinforce what much of the world sees as a conservative climate target for the foreseeable future.

Funding changes, disclosure requirements

According to US climate envoy John Kerry, which is taking place closer to the conference time, Biden will issue an executive order on climate disclosure in capital markets, a move that could change investments. In general, with implications for the fossil fuel and renewable energy sectors.

“President Biden is ready to issue an executive order requiring the disclosure of information,” Kerry said at an International Monetary Fund event earlier this month. “It will change the allocation of capital. Suddenly, people are going to make a long-term risk assessment for an investment based on the climate crisis. “

The Biden administration says it will produce Climate finance plan about how the United States will Strategic use of different financial institutions to assist developing countries to take ambitious climate action. The plan, slated to be announced around the time of the summit, will help form the basis for the leaders’ meeting.

The developing countries

The climate finance plan must show how the United States will scale up its climate finance to keep pace with the efforts of other major donors who contribute more on a per capita basis. and the proportion of total national income.

Rising climate finance ambitions from the United States could put pressure on other developed countries to make new climate finance commitments. For example, Canada and Italy are the lowest climate finance providers in the G-7 and more needs to be done to catch up with their peers.

Kerry said he wanted to work with 20 of the world’s worst polluters to cut emissions faster. In 2009, rich countries promised to reap $ 100 billion per year in climate finance for vulnerable countries by 2020, but that commitment has not been successful.

Helen Mountford, vice president for climate & economics at the World Resources Institute, said: “There is a huge gap to fill under the $ 100 billion commitment. “Developed countries must rebuild trust with developing countries.”

Methane emissions

The conference was seen as an important opportunity for the US to demonstrate that the country would lead the way in cutting methane emissions very strongly.

According to the NOAA, atmospheric methane concentrations rose sharply in 2020, marking the largest increase since records began in 1983.

Methane is 28 times stronger than carbon dioxide, a global warning factor. It is derived from the use of fossil fuels such as coal and gas and from microbial sources in vegetation and animals.

Methane leaks in natural gas sites in particular have led to the debate about maintaining natural gas.
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development, which is the fixed factor for the United States to gain an energy independent foundation.

Inheritance coal

Some countries are expected to come under pressure to make a more open commitment to coal funding.

China, South Korea and Japan are the remaining three largest public donors for coal plant construction worldwide, currently funding 84 gigawatts (GW) for construction in countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam. South and South Africa.

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