New US President Joe Biden has immediately made good on his campaign pledge to return America to the Paris Accords by signing an Executive Order – and his action coincides with the sense of a growing momentum across the world on climate change.
In the Netherlands the Climate Adaption Summit 2021 has just concluded – global leaders and their nations coming together to launch an Adaptation Action Agenda setting out commitments to deliver concrete approaches towards carbon net-zero.
And this ahead of the Glasgow COP 26 in November – the next big international step from the Paris agreements where the world will come together and not only report on its progress since Paris but, hopefully, set out new ambitious targets and routes to a net-zero planet by 2050.
At the summit, President Emmanuelle Macron of France, Angela Merkel of Germany the UN’s Secretary-General António Gutteres, the UK’s Boris Johnson, India’s Narendra Modi and many others such as Bill Gates and Pope Francis all spoke of their support, concerns and actions.
Joe Biden has hit the ground running not only by returning America to Paris – a huge
move of practical and psychological importance to the global fight against climate change, especially as the country is such a major polluter – but because of his two significant appointments to lead the USA’s fight against climate change.
Former Secretary of State under President Barack Obama, John Kerry, is Biden’s climate envoy and is already making his mark in the climate change agenda. Speaking to the Adaption Summit he said:
‘We’re proud to be back. We come back with humility for the absence of the last four years and we’ll do everything in our power to make up for it.’
The link below is The Guardian’s full report on Kerry’s calls to action.
Yet, even more impressive is Biden’s other new appointee – his National Climate Policy Chief, Gina McCarthy – whose job it is to connect up all USA departments and policy to help create a seamless climate change approach for the new Administration.
Speaking on the major climate change podcast, Outrage + Optimism, fronted by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac, two huge movers and shakers who made the Paris Accords a reality, McCarthy is a complete breath of fresh air.
Talking about her new role, she oozes sense and awareness about the challenges of climate change not just in America but around the world, and you feel at last here is one of a new generation of international leaders who not only understand the challenges but is ready and open to do big things to meet them.
McCarthy’s optimism is real and, together with the title of the podcast, they underscore an important way the world has to treat its fight against climate change and the battle to get to net-zero.
The world cannot be defeated by negativity and a sense that all is lost and nothing can be done. Don’t be fooled – the prospects for the planet if climate change isn’t addressed with the utmost urgency are dire, the time for action was yesterday. But, huge strides can be made in so many new and exciting ways and everyone from leaders like Biden, Kerry and McCarthy to the ordinary person in the streets and fields all over the world can help make those prospects come true.
Figueres and Rivett-Carnac’s podcast is a must as is their recent book – The Future We Choose – which sets out the stark warnings of climate change and the choices we all need to make to make the planet safe.
For information on the Adaptation Summit:
For information on COP26:
President Biden's Executive Order on Climate Change