World leaders pledge to tackle climate change at summit
Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, speaks during the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, April 22, 2021. /CFP
Leaders from dozens of countries and organizations attending the Leaders Summit on Climate via video conference pledged action and called for unity to tackle the climate crisis on Thursday.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed at the summit the significance of climate change, calling for the international communities to translate the promises to concrete, immediate actions. He called on all the countries to build a global coalition for carbon neutrality, making a more ambitious plan to make a great shift in the following ten years, aligned with a 2050 net-zero pathway.
At the invitation of U.S. President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the Leaders Summit on Climate via video link and delivers a speech titled "For Man and Nature: Building a Community of Life Together" from Beijing, capital of China, April 22, 2021. /Xinhua
"We need a green planet while the world is on red alert," he said, "We must make sure the next step in the right direction.
"So far, only 18 to 24 percent of pandemic recovery spending is expected to contribute to mitigating emissions, reducing air pollution, or strengthening natural capital."
Guterres said the trillions of dollars needed for COVID-19 recovery "is money we are borrowing from future generations." he said.
"We cannot use these resources to lock in policies that burden them with a mountain of debt on a broken planet."
The UN chief said the leaders of all countries need to work together to "overcome climate change, end our war on nature and build lives of dignity and prosperity for all."
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate from the East Room of the White House, April 22, 2021. /CFP
During the conference, dozens of country leaders shared their pledge to contribute to the fight against climate change.
Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed China's climate commitments to strictly limit its coal consumption and strive to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.
U.S. President Joe Biden promised that America would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions "by half" from 2005 levels in this decade. "We have to take actions, all of us," he said.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, April 22, 2021. /CFP
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised his nation's target for greenhouse gas reductions to 40 to 45 percent by 2030.
U.K Prime Ministry Boris Johnson agreed that Xi's notion of "harmony" is vital, saying "If we are going to tackle the climate change sustainably, we have to deal with the disaster of habitat loss and species loss across the planet." Johnson said to achieve the goal, people need to be "constantly original and optimistic about new technologies and new solutions."