The Missing Piece in Biden’s Climate Diplomacy

The Missing Piece in Biden’s Climate Diplomacy
World leaders virtually attend the opening session of the Leaders Summit on Climate, as seen on a screen at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office in Ankara, Turkey, April 22, 2021 (Photo by Mustafa Kamaci for Turkish Presidency via AP).

This may be, as U.S. President Joe Biden says, the “decisive decade” for acting on climate change. But the U.S. and other rich countries don’t seem ready to put their money where their mouths are when it comes to making sure the Global South isn’t left behind in that effort.

Biden and other world leaders made lots of promises at the U.S.-sponsored climate summit last week. Washington’s pledge to cut emissions by more than half by 2030 will likely do a lot to generate more urgency in capitals around the world. Indeed, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s announcement just ahead of the summit that Brazil would aim to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 marked a major improvement from a previously stated goal of reaching net-zero by 2060.

For the next four years, then, while Biden remains in office, the Paris Agreement will drive markets and change our world.

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