The virtual meeting of world leaders invited by US President Joe Biden to strengthen your climate commitments has elapsed between thanking the United States for its return to the Paris Agreement and multilateralism, promises of emission reduction of the most polluting countries and requests to exchange debt for adaptation by the states most vulnerable to the impacts of the climate crisis.

There have also been talks, in which Minister Margarita Robles participated, on the measures that defense departments can take to contain the climate crisis, recognized by the Pentagon as a threat to national security.

Despite their commercial and political rivalry, China and the US agree to cooperate on climate issues

With an eye on the Glasgow Climate Summit (COP26) which should have been held at the end of 2020 but was postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic, the leaders of 40 governments took the opportunity to highlight your efforts to combat the climate crisis —Some, such as Brazil or Chile, underlined their minimal “historical responsibility” in warming—, and to announce a increase in your climate ambition.

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Starting by USA, host of the event and the second largest responsible for global greenhouse effect (GHG) emissions As admitted by climate envoy John Kerry, “who promised to cut your emissions by more than half (specifically 52%) by 2030 compared to 2005.

Japan and canada they also announced major cuts to face global warming and keep it below the 1.5ºC threshold that according to the scientific community should not be exceeded. However, each country used a different reference year. For example, the new goal of Japan is reduce in 46% its emissions by 2030 but with respect to 2013. Meanwhile, Canada set the goal of reducing its GHG emissions between 40 and 45% also by 2030 but compared to 2005 levels.

Panel of world leaders participating in the virtual summit

Among other outstanding commitments of the summit is that of South Korea, the fourth largest importer of coal and the third largest investor in coal plants globally. Your president, Moon Jae-in, said would stop financing this type of project abroad. In addition to the United States, which pledged to contribute 5.7 billion dollars to the aid fund for climate adaptation of the least developed countries.

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China, the world’s largest GHG emitter, stayed in its commitment to reach the maximum in GHG emissions in 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2060. However, something new since the entry of the new government administration in the US is that, despite their rivalry on the commercial and political level, China and the US have agreed to cooperate on climate issues. India, meanwhile, promised to install 450 GW of renewable technology by the year 2030.

Promises of alternative fuels such as green hydrogen and even the commitment to nuclear energy by Brazil, Chile, Australia and Russia.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has participated in the Summit. (EFE)

The foundership in these events it is always a tricky business. Turkey, for example, it is the only G20 country that has not yet ratified the Paris Agreement. Refuses to as long as it does not have access to climate finance. Its goal for 2030 is to reduce its GHG emissions by 21%.

Small island states, which are already suffering the worst consequences of the climate crisis with rising sea levels as one of the main threats, claimed that forgive your debt – aggravated by the health crisis of the covid – to face these risks, or that the debt be exchanged for climate adaptation.

Both the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stressed the importance of mechanisms such as green bonds O a “robust” carbon price, something that, according to the director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, “have demonstrated accelerate investments with a positive impact on global warming ”.

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Georgieva asked for a floor for the carbon price: “More than 60 pricing systems, but the world average price is currently 2 dollars a ton, and has to increase to $ 75 the ton in 2030 for curb GHG emissions in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement ”.

The young Mexican climate activist Xiye Bastida. (Reuters)

The activists of Fridays For Future (FFF) —The movement started by the young Swedish ecologist Greta Thunberg in 2018 – they were also represented at the Biden summit. The intervention of the Mexican activist Xiye Bastida, now a resident of the United States, focused on the “colonialist and oppressive” dynamics and the market-based solutions praised by the governments of the Global north but that in Bastida’s opinion are insufficient. The 19-year-old activist called on the youth of the world to continue mobilizing and to participate in the actions that the collective prepared for Friday, April 23, under the slogan of “no more empty peaks”. “We will be watching and we will be organizing,” he warned.

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