Comment on US Leaders Summit on Climate

Summit hosted by President Joe Biden marks welcome return of US to climate diplomacy

By George Smeeton

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Commenting on the US Leaders Summit on climate change, Gareth Redmond-King, COP26 Communications and Engagement Lead at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said: “After four years absent, the US is back; and at 13% of global emissions, we should all be glad they are. Their pledge to cut emissions by 52% by 2030 is a huge boost to keeping the goal of only 1.5°C of warming within reach, but it is not enough on its own.

“As several developing country leaders reminded the US summit today, the promise by rich countries to deliver $100bn in climate support for poorer countries remains unfulfilled while also being critical to unlocking trust at the negotiations.

“The UK, as hosts of COP26, have an important role here. Beyond COP President Alok Sharma, is Chancellor Rishi Sunak doing enough to secure commitments? More effort is clearly needed and the job has been made harder by the credibility lost through the UK’s decision to backtrack on ODA.

“Ministers will need to redouble diplomatic efforts across the piece, with the PM, Foreign Secretary and Chancellor all actively deployed to support Alok Sharma build momentum at June’s G7 - for both deeper emissions cuts and delivering the climate finance pledge.”