WATCH LIVE: Countries Pledge Climate Change Action at Biden’s Global Summit | Top News

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “WATCH LIVE: Countries Pledge Climate Change Action at Biden’s Global Summit | Top News” – below is their description.

    (Apr. 22) President Joe Biden brought the U.S. back into the global fight against climate change on Thursday, pledging at an international summit he convened to halve emissions of greenhouse gases by 2030 and double climate aid to developing nations.

    Poor countries made clear at the summit that they expect money from wealthier nations in exchange for accelerating their own efforts to curb warming, while China and India stuck to plans to continue growing their own carbon emissions before making any cuts, dismaying environmentalists who say the world remains on course toward catastrophe.

    Biden announced in opening remarks for the two-day summit that the U.S. will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 50%-52% from 2005 levels by the end of the decade — significantly boosting a commitment made under former President Barack Obama that was scrapped by former President Donald Trump.

    “No nation can solve this crisis on our own,” Biden said Thursday from the White House. “All of us, and particularly those of us who represent the world’s largest economies, we have to step up.”

    The new U.S. pledge to curb emissions is aimed at encouraging industrializing countries including China, India and Brazil that account for much of the world’s carbon output to set their own aggressive emissions-reductions targets. But Biden faced a cool reception from leaders worried about committing to emissions cuts that could slow economic growth.

    In their opening statements, the leaders of China and India kept to previously announced targets, and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro explicitly tied his country’s efforts — including a pledge to curb deforestation — to financial assistance from wealthier nations.

    Biden returned to the summit after other leaders spoke to announce increased U.S. commitment to foreign climate assistance. His initial fiscal 2022 budget request submitted to Congress earlier this month included $2.5 billion for climate aid.

    The new U.S. president is confronting overseas skeptics who have watched American climate policy shift dramatically depending on the occupant of the White House and wonder whether the latest promises can be trusted.

    Biden’s pledge would require changes that would touch the lives of nearly every American. But Republicans in Congress are unlikely to support legislation that would make major reductions in U.S. emissions, for example by penalizing fossil fuel use or mandating renewable power, and any regulations Biden’s administration issues are sure to face challenges from industry.

    “Scientists tell us that this is the decisive decade,” Biden said at the summit. “This is the decade we must make decisions that will avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis. We must try to keep the earth’s temperature to an increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

    All 40 of the leaders invited, from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, agreed to attend and speak. Other participants include Pope Francis, members of indigenous groups from around the world, and current and former corporate executives including Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent company Bloomberg LP.

    “We are at the verge of the abyss,” UN General Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said after Biden, describing the planet as “racing” toward a 1.5-degree increase in average temperatures.

    “To protect the environment is to protect productivity, and to improve the environment is to boost productivity,” he said. “We need to make sure that a sound environment is there to buttress sustainable economic and social development worldwide.”

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