Climate summit turns to technology in fight against global warming
Technology is to take centre stage at on Friday at US President Joe Biden's climate summit, with entrepreneurs Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg to make key addresses.
Gates and Bloomberg have focused their energies on climate change in recent years with the Microsoft founder investing $2 billion toward the development of clean technologies, mostly in electricity generation and storage.
The climate summit which kicked off on Earth Day on Thursday, seeks to rally world ambition to reduce global warming.
Biden called the two-day meeting with dozens of heads-of-state to declare the United States back at the climate leadership table after his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, withdrew from the Paris agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
America is back. We rejoined the Paris Agreement and are ready to rally the world to tackle the climate crisis. Let’s do this.— President Biden (@POTUS) April 22, 2021
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The Democratic president, who returned the United States to the pact, announced a new U.S. target on Thursday to reduce its emissions 50-52 percent by 2030 compared with 2005 levels. Japan and Canada also raised their targets.
The White House has sought to assure other countries that it can meet that target, even if a new administration takes over, because industry is moving toward cleaner power, electric vehicles, and more renewable energy anyway.
"The world, as a whole, is moving in this direction," Biden's climate envoy John Kerry told reporters.
"These companies have made this critical, long-term, strategic marketing judgement, and that is the way the market is moving. No politician, no matter how demagogic or how potent and capable they are, is going to be able to change what that market is doing," he said.
On Friday the administration rolls out top cabinet officials and business leaders to make the case for technology's role in a "net-zero, climate-resilient economy."
An incredible first day of the #LeadersClimateSummit. We have our work cut out for us, but together we can tackle the climate crisis. See you all bright and early tomorrow for Day 2. https://t.co/5HCGYSF5oe— Special Presidential Envoy John Kerry (@ClimateEnvoy) April 22, 2021
Biden has sought to connect efforts to fight climate change with opportunities to create jobs, arguing that taking action will be good for the economy, countering Republican concerns that overzealous climate regulation could damage the economy.
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo are all scheduled to take part in Friday's conference.
Foreign leaders including Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phucare are also slated to join.
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