U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday announced a range of American commitments aimed at curbing global warming, as leaders from more than 100 countries gathered in Glasgow for the U.N. Climate Change Conference.
“The United States will be able to meet the ambitious target I set at the Leaders Summit on climate back in April, reducing U.S. emissions by 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030,” Biden said. “We will demonstrate to the world that the United States is not only back at the table, but hopefully leading by the power of our example. I know it hasn’t been the case, and that’s why my administration is working overtime to show that our climate commitment is action, not words.”
Those new goals include a set of new U.S. climate commitments that build on previous global agreements: the unveiling of plans for a $3 billion President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience to tackle climate awareness, financing and adaptation efforts, and a raft of domestically focused legislation that aims to shore up American infrastructure while also cutting greenhouse gas pollution by well over one gigaton in 2030.
That legislation has occupied the U.S. Congress for months, with members of the legislative body negotiating fiercely throughout — but ultimately, failing to bring the matter to a vote before Biden left for the summit last week.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during an event on global supply chain resilience through the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and recovery, on the sidelines of the G20 leaders’ summit in Rome, Italy, Oct. 31, 2021.
The U.S. has previously faltered on its own climate commitments, with former President Donald Trump announcing in 2017 that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. That took effect in November 2020, but Biden rejoined the deal on his first day in office.
Biden’s critics note that some of his administration’s climate commitments are not as large as those promised by other developed nations.
Biden also said, late Sunday, that he is “disappointed” that China and Russia have yet to come up with new commitments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
“The disappointment relates to the fact that Russia and, and including not only Russia, but China, basically didn’t show up in terms of any commitments to deal with climate change,” Biden said. “And there’s a reason why people should be disappointed in that. I found it disappointing myself.” *VOA*