Today’s inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States, along with Kamala Harris as the new Vice President, heralds a new start for the country.
Rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement is a day one job the new president has already committed to. And America will no longer be leaving the World Health Organization. These are vital steps in reengaging and redirecting the power and influence of America towards the battles that matter. In the fight against the world’s most pressing challenges: climate change, COVID-19, biodiversity loss, species extinction, and many more, unity of action is needed to take forward and implement the solutions that can build a brighter future for people and planet. In pledging to invest $1.7 trillion by 2030 as part of ‘a historic investment in [its] clean energy future and environmental justice’ the new US government is now repositioning itself to help the transition to that future.
“As president, Biden will lead the world to address the climate emergency and lead through the power of example, by ensuring the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050.” it states on the Biden/Harris website.
These moves would put the Paris Agreement 1.5 degree limit ‘within striking distance’, according to the Climate Action Tracker.
“If President-elect Joe Biden goes ahead with his net-zero emissions pledge by 2050 for the US, this could shave 0.1˚C off global warming by 2100, according to the Climate Action Tracker. Coupled with China’s pledge to bring emissions to net-zero before 2060, and the EU, Japan and South Korea’s commitments to reach net-zero by 2050, a tipping point is being approached that puts the Paris Agreement’s 1.5˚C limit within reach,” the Climate Action Tracker website states.
On the eve of this year’s critical COP26 climate summit in Scotland, this volte-face in US policy direction could ultimately prove to be a seminal moment in the race to secure a sustainable and desirable future for people and planet.