Washington (AP) – US President Joe Biden also sees great economic opportunities in the fight against the impending climate disaster.
Speaking at the two-day online climate summit he hosted with dozens of heads of state or government, Biden said on Friday that the fight against global warming has the potential to create millions of well-paid jobs around the world – for example, through the expansion of electromobility or renewable energy sources. US Climate Commissioner John Kerry spoke of an economic “gold mine”. However, both warned that time was running out. Fighting the climate crisis is a “moral obligation,” Biden emphasizes.
He had convened the climate summit to underline the urgency of the situation, but also to show that the US is back on the world stage and wants Donald Trump to take a leading role in climate protection after four years. Biden called for an international display of power to contain the climate crisis. “I know we can,” he said at the end of the deliberations. “Let’s get to work.”
Biden thanked the heads of state and government at the summit for their commitments to climate protection. The day before, he himself announced a new climate target for the US government: the US wants to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least half compared to 2005 by the end of the decade. With the new goal, they meet a requirement of the climate treaty of Paris, in which Biden had returned the country to office on the first day. His predecessor Trump has left the agreement. This means that the contracting states improve their climate goals every five years. All partners will do this officially at the World Climate Conference in Glasgow in November.
The summit organized by Biden is seen as an important preparation for Glasgow. The US president stressed that it was a stopover on the way there: “This summit is a start.”
Experts agree that much more needs to be done worldwide by 2030 to keep global warming well below two degrees, as agreed by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015. Compared to pre-industrial times, the earth has already warmed about 1.2 degrees. On the first day of the summit, participants pointed to the existential threat posed by the climate crisis and its already visible fatal consequences: depending on the region, there are more heatwaves and droughts, as well as heavy rains, storms, storms and floods. They mainly used the second day to underline the opportunities offered by the fight against the crisis.
Kerry stressed, “No one is asked to make a sacrifice.” Vigorous action against the climate crisis rather offers the opportunity to improve areas such as health, the economy, the labor market and security. Kerry also warned that the next decade will be crucial in the fight against global warming. During this time, urgent decisions need to be made to avoid the worst effects of global warming. “This must be the decade of decisions.”
The government leaders of different countries reported on examples of how they are tackling climate change while reaping economic benefits. For example, the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen named an energy island for the storage of wind energy at sea, which is being built about 80 kilometers off the coast of Jutland. It is the largest construction project in Danish history. Frederiksen said that 50 percent of Danish electricity already came from wind energy, and that this should be further expanded. The next task is to convert green electricity into green fuels in order to reduce emissions from trucks, planes and ships. These innovations created numerous new jobs. Denmark has set a target of reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. This is currently the most ambitious emissions target of all EU countries.
Emirates Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktum said the United Arab Emirates is one of the largest oil exporters in the world. However, you would have made the strategic decision to invest in renewable energy sources 15 years ago, and you now operate two of the largest solar systems in the world. A third should follow. The Emirates are among the richest countries in the world thanks to their income from the oil and gas sector. Despite the large resources, the sunny country tries to meet the domestic energy needs with other means.
Biden is currently trying to invest heavily in the country’s infrastructure, the expansion of electromobility and the energy transition that is attractive to its own population. He always emphasizes that millions of jobs can be created in this way. The US president plans to spend about $ 2 trillion on his infrastructure program over the next eight years. That equates to about 10 percent of the US’s annual economic output. Domestically, given the massive spending, the deal met with some resistance from the Republicans. Biden also used the climate summit to promote his proposed program.