San Francisco, Nov 17 (PTI): President Joe Biden has said that he is working with the US Congress to “dramatically” increase international climate financing while asserting that the world stands at an inflection point.
In his address to a select group of world leaders at the APEC informal dialogue and working lunch on Thursday, Biden said every economy is seeing signs of what’s to come — droughts, floods, rise in sea levels and temperatures, and unpredictable weather patterns — if action is not taken.
“Our world stands at an inflection point, a point where the decisions we make now are going to determine the course of the world, not just a few of our countries, for the next several decades of consequence,” Biden said.
“Nowhere is that more true than when it comes to climate. Every economy around this table faces this challenge, every one of us. And as I’ve said before, it’s the only existential threat to humanity. We either get this right or there’s not going to be a whole lot of people around to talk about it.
“As a region, we’re responsible for the largest share of, the region we’re talking about here around this circular table, of global emissions, so we must also bear responsibility for the solutions while we still have time to change course,” he said.
India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal was one of the two guest leaders along with President Gustavo Petro of Columbia at the APEC dialogue.
The APEC leaders who attended the working lunch were Anthony Albanese from Australia, Justin Trudeau of Canada, Xi Jinping of China, Joko Widodo of Indonesia, Kishida Fumio of Japan, Yoon Suk Yeol of South Korea, Dato’ Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim of Malaysia, Ferdinand R. Marcos of Philippines; Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore and Vo Van Thuong of Vietnam.
Biden said the US is on track to achieve 1.5-degree alignment goal by cutting emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 and it is helping lower the cost of clean energy and climate technologies for nations around the world by as much as 25 per cent in some areas.
“But we can’t stop here. We have so much more work to do. You all know as well as I do that the impacts of climate change are being felt most by those who have contributed the least to the problem. Let me say that again, you know the impacts of climate change are being felt the most by those countries that contribute the least to the problem, including developing countries,” he said.
“We contributed a lot here in the United States over the last 300 years. That’s why I’m working with our Congress to dramatically increase international climate financing. And this year, the world is on track to meet the climate finance pledge that we made under the Paris Agreement of USD 100 billion collectively,” he said.
Biden said he has also asked Congress for another USD25 billion to strengthen the role of the multilateral development banks in fighting the climate crisis, as well as starting with the World Bank because climate, security, energy security, and food security, are all related, as all of you know. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.
“On top of this, we focused on ending deforestation. Forests are key to our future. In the United States alone, they absorb 10 per cent of our greenhouse gas emissions as they stand today. We’re also working with partners around the table to mobilise USD 1 billion to conserve the Amazon and other critical ecosystems in Latin America,” he added.
Biden encouraged all the participating leaders to take strong national actions because it would take all of them to meet this moment.
“With the right commitments from every economy here, we can limit warming. We can build new energy futures and leave no one behind and we can turn this moment from great peril into a moment of great possibility,” he said. PTI LKJ RHL
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