Leaders from countries like Brazil, Canada and Japan on Thursday pledged to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change during President Joe Biden’s climate summit.
The pledges come shortly after Biden pledged to cut U.S. emissions by at least 50% by 2030, more than doubling the country’s previous commitment under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
The president called the summit to urge global cooperation on climate change. “It’s an encouraging start,” Biden told world leaders at the summit. “We are really starting to make real progress.”
In a split from his past attitude towards climate change, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has promised to end illegal deforestation in the country by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Bolsonaro previously criticized the country’s forest protection and threatened to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Brazil has asked the Biden administration to provide $ 1 billion to pay for conservation efforts in the Amazon rainforest.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the country is committed to reducing emissions by 46% by 2030 from 2013 levels. Japan, the fifth largest emitter in the world, had previously committed to a 26% reduction. %, a target that has been criticized as insufficient.
“Japan is ready to demonstrate its leadership in global decarbonization,” Suga said at the summit. Like the United States, Japan is committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, flanked by Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi, attends a meeting of the government task force against global warming in Tokyo, Japan on April 22, 2021.
Kyodo | via Reuters
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised Canada will reduce emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030 from 2005 levels, a significant increase from the previous 30% pledge.
“We will continuously strengthen our plan and take even more action on our journey to net zero by 2050,” Trudeau said at the summit.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not provided a new target, but has reconfirmed the country’s promise to install 450 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030.
Modi also announced a partnership between India and the United States on the climate and clean energy agenda for 2030. India is the third largest producing country in the world after China and the United States.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a strong commitment to reducing the country’s emissions “significantly” over the next three decades and has said that Russia makes a great contribution to global carbon sinks.
Putin also said the country has nearly halved its emissions since 1990 and called for a global reduction in methane, a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent 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 people depend largely on the success of these efforts,” Putin said at the summit.
Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated his commitment to peak emissions before 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2060. The United States and China have agreed to cooperate on climate change despite the split on issues such as trade and human rights.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro attends a virtual climate global summit via a video link in Brasilia, Brazil on April 22, 2021.
Marcos Correa | Reuters
South Korean President Moon Jae In said Korea will put an end to public funding of coal-fired power plants overseas and plans to unveil a stronger commitment to reducing emissions.
Some countries praised Biden for hosting the summit and bringing the United States back into the Paris Agreement. Former President Donald Trump’s administration pulled out of the deal and stopped all federal efforts to cut emissions.
“I am happy to see that the United States has returned to work with us in climate policy, because there can be no doubt that the world needs your contribution,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the summit.
Nations under the Paris Agreement are set to unveil updated emissions targets for the next decade at the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland in November.