Written by Agastya Sharma, a grade 8 student (junior editor I Kid You Not).
Nature is important.
When I say it like that, it sounds pretty obvious, right? But humanity seems to have forgotten about it, in its race for industrialization. We must protect Mother Nature.
And the President of the United States is doing just that. President Joe Biden spoke at the summit for leaders on Earth Day, which was celebrated on Thursday, the 22nd of April. His goal was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% until 2030 (in accordance with 2005 levels).
What is the goal?
US President, Joe Biden stated on Thursday that they wanted to reduce greenhouse gas releases by 50% by 2030. This target is more than twice the aim ex-President Barack Obama established under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
What is the Paris Agreement?
The Paris Agreement is an agreement made under the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), which is concerned with global environmental issues such as climate change control and finance. It was signed on the 22nd of April, 2016.
Its goal is to keep global climate change levels below 2 degrees Celsius annually, hoping that this will make the impact of global warming less. The United States, under the leadership of Donald Trump, left the agreement last year but has rejoined recently under the Biden-Harris administration.
What is the impact of reducing the carbon footprint?
As you all may know, the carbon footprint (the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere), is one of the major causes of the climate crisis, and the USA has one of the highest average carbon footprints per individual in the world, with each person averaging somewhere near 16 tons per year. They emitted over six and a half billion metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2019, which was the second-highest in the world that year.
President Biden’s promise, albeit an ambitious one, was a very large step towards reducing a very large contributor to climate change. A lot of company executives and environmental groups have pushed for this, which you can see in this article. He called his term ‘the decisive decade, the decade in which we must make decisions to avoid the worst of the climate crisis’, as quoted by CNBC. He has proposed a $2 trillion package, which will help in the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
The United States was not the only one to make such an announcement. The UK and the European Union have also decided to cut emission rates, with plans to reduce them by 68% and 55% respectively.
Chinese President Xi Jinping also reiterated the importance of eco-friendly development. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced an India – US Climate and Clean Energy Agenda Partnership for 2030. He re-confirmed India’s goal to install over 400 gigawatts of renewable energy in the country by 2030. Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced a 46% reduction target within the decade. Canada followed and promised a 45% decrease.
The only way, we can protect our environment, the nature around us is by working together. And this summit proved just that. We hope that world leaders, countries, and even the common individual will help us achieve our goal, of a better future.
Thank you all so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed it! Be well, and stay safe.
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