Heads of state and government of countries like Brazil, Canada and Japan pledged on Thursday to curb domestic greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change during President Joe Biden’s climate summit.
The pledges come shortly after Biden’s pledge to cut U.S. emissions by at least 50% by 2030, more than doubling the country’s previous commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The President convened the summit to promote global cooperation on climate change. “It’s an encouraging start,” Biden told world leaders during the summit. “We’re really starting to make real progress.”
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro promised to end illegal deforestation in the country by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Bolsonaro previously criticized the protection of the country’s forests and threatened to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Brazil has asked the Biden government to allocate $ 1 billion for conservation efforts in the Amazon rainforest.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the country will pledge to cut emissions by 46% by 2030 compared to 2013. Japan, the world’s fifth largest emitter, had previously committed to a 26% reduction, a target that has been criticized as insufficient.
“Japan is ready to demonstrate its leadership role in global decarbonization,” Suga said at the summit. Japan, like the US, has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, flanked by Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi, attends a meeting of the Government’s Task Force to Combat Global Warming in Tokyo, Japan on April 22, 2021.
Kyodo | via Reuters
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged that Canada will cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030 compared to 2005, a significant increase from its previous 30% pledge.
“We will continuously strengthen our plan and take even more measures on our way to zero by 2050,” said Trudeau during the summit.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not set a new target, but re-affirmed the country’s promise to install 450 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030.
Modi also announced a partnership between India and the US on the Climate and Clean Energy Agenda for 2030. India is the third largest emitter in the world after China and the USA
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Russia’s President Vladimir Putin broadly pledged to “significantly” cut the country’s emissions over the next three decades, saying Russia was making a major contribution to absorbing global carbon dioxide.
Putin also said the country had almost halved its emissions from 1990 and called for a global reduction in methane, an 84 times more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and a major driver of climate change.
“The fate of our entire planet, the development prospects of each country, the well-being and quality of life of the people largely depend on the success of these efforts,” Putin said at the summit.
China’s President Xi Jinping reiterated its commitment to increase emissions before 2030 and become climate neutral by 2060. The US and China have agreed to work together on climate change despite the divide on issues such as trade and human rights.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will be attending a virtual global climate summit via video link on April 22, 2021 in Brasilia, Brazil.
Marcos Correa | Reuters
South Korean President Moon Jae In said Korea would end public funding of overseas coal-fired power plants and plans to make a stronger pledge to reduce emissions.
Some countries praised Biden for hosting the summit and bringing the US back into the Paris Agreement. Former President Donald Trump’s administration stepped out of the deal and halted all federal efforts to reduce emissions.
“I am very pleased that the USA is working with us again on climate policy, because there is no doubt that the world needs your contribution,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel at the summit.
The nations under the Paris Agreement will announce updated emissions targets for the next decade at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.