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Biden to Push Climate Action

The president-elect has promised to engage with climate activists and has just reconfirmed his commitment to take America back into the Paris agreement.

During the recent presidential elections, Joe Biden called climate change the ‘number one issue facing humanity’ and pledged to spend $2 trillion tackling the issue.

The money would be invested in clean energy in the transportation, electricity and building industries, cut fossil fuel emissions and improve infrastructure. Biden’s plan also puts the U.S. on a path to zero carbon pollution from the electricity sector by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050.

This week, US president-elect Joe Biden promised to inject fresh momentum into international climate action by convening the world’s major economies for a summit early next year. Biden also said he would seek to rejoin the Paris agreement on the first day of his presidency and said he would follow through with his pledge to put the US on a path to net zero by 2050.

This means that from next year, with America now on-board, countries accounting for more than two-thirds of global emissions will be subject to mid-century net zero targets. China has pledged to achieve net zero by 2060.

In a statement, Biden said: “We’ll elevate the incredible work cities, states and businesses have been doing to help reduce emissions and build a cleaner future. We’ll listen to and engage closely with the activists, including young people, who have continued to sound the alarm and demand change from those in power.”

Biden’s announcement came after 75 nations attended a virtual climate conference at the weekend - without the US - to mark the fifth anniversary of the Paris agreement. The conference failed to produce anything significant but it was good to hear the UK's pledge to stop funding fossil fuel development overseas and the EU laying out its plan to reduce emissions by 55 percent by the end of this decade.

António Guterres, the UN secretary general, welcomed Biden’s statement. He said that it sent an “important signal” to the rest of the world, which has watched aghast in the last 4 years as Trump's administration rolled back environment protections and withdraw from the Paris agreement.

“We look forward to a very active US leadership in climate action from now on as US leadership is absolutely essential,” said Guterres. “The US is the largest economy in the world, it’s absolutely essential for our goals to be reached."

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