Washington. The leaders ’climate summit organized by the White House demonstrated two things: international leaders’ decision to renew their environmental commitments … and President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador separated from the environmental agenda.
“The United States is on track to cut greenhouse gases in half by the end of this decade, and this is where we are heading as a nation,” President Joe Biden said at the opening of the summit, which was attended by 40 world leaders. The coronavirus epidemic, literally carried. In fact, the plan is to reduce it to 52% by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. The renewal of voting in the United States prompted others to update the targets: the European Union, Canada, and even Brazil.
Instead, Lopez Obrador arrived, as promised, with his proposal to Biden to finance the extension of the Cemprando Vida reforestation program to southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. “The suggestion is that we together expand this program in southeast Mexico and Central America to plant an additional 3 billion trees and create 1.2 million jobs,” he said. “We bear our economic responsibility and are committed to assisting in productive and social organization, and you, President Biden, can fund the Sembrando Vida program in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.”
He noted that as a supplementary proposal, the United States government could offer to those who participate in this program that after cultivating their land for three consecutive years, they would have access to a temporary work visa and after another three or four years, it could arrive at state residency. United or dual citizenship.
“The immigration phenomenon, as we all know, is not resolved by coercive measures, but rather by justice and welfare. In addition, you, President Biden, are a sensitive man and you know that the spirit of work and the desire to improve immigrants is fundamental to the development of nations,” said Lopez Obrador, though. From the fact that Biden officials since Wednesday the administration ruled out immigration discussion at the summit.
World leaders participated in the virtual climate summit ending today at the invitation of US President Joe Biden. Photo: AP
Oil for internal use
Lopez Obrador told world leaders that Mexico’s oil production will be used to meet the demand for fuel in the domestic market and end the practice of exporting crude oil and buying gasoline. “In this way, we will help avoid the excessive use of fossil fuels.”
He also said that to reduce the use of fuel oil or coal in the production of electricity, hydroelectric plants in Mexico will be modernized for cleaner and cheaper energy. “We decided to change the old turbines to modern equipment, which will allow us to take advantage of the water from the reservoirs to produce more energy without building new dams and without causing damage,” he added.
The Mexican President participated in the opening of the summit in the middle of the morning session in the Treasury Hall of the National Palace. There, he listened to inaugural letters from Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, then continued his lecture and eventually set aside only three minutes for his participation at the summit.
At the inauguration, Biden made it clear that the United States was back in leading the world on climate issues.
“The United States is on the way to cutting greenhouse gases in half by the end of this decade, and that is where we are heading as a nation,” he said. The plan calls for reducing it to 52% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. In other words, it nearly doubled the proposal Barack Obama made when signing the Paris Accords. By 2050, the United States should be a carbon neutral nation.
He warned the White House that “the cost of inaction is increasing,” and insisted that the act is “a moral imperative.”
Biden insisted on declaring that following the “green” path is good for the economy. His proposed $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan focuses on renewable energy; He is convinced that a shift of this level will help create jobs.
EU targets are less ambitious than the EU targets (this week promised to cut emissions by 55% by 2030) or UK targets (which will cut 68% for the same year); But in the words of Britain’s Boris Johnson, returning from Washington could mean a “turning point” in the face of what everyone has agreed upon, which is urgent. Pope Francis summarized: “We have the means, it is time to act, we have reached the limit.”
The renewal of the vote in the United States helped other countries update their targets: Canada announced that it would reduce its emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030 compared to 2005, instead of 30% previously. Japan is committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 46% by 2030, far more than it promised. Even Brazilian Jair Bolsonaro has promised to fight deforestation in the Amazon.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose country is the largest polluter with more than a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, has made no new commitments. He reiterated that he would reach carbon neutrality by 2060. Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia – the world’s fourth largest emitter – also said he would fulfill his commitments. But their participation was essential, given that implementing environmental goals requires the participation of everyone, starting with the most polluted countries.
They weren’t all pretty words. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, showed his frank and direct rhetoric by reiterating that the planet is on the edge of a precipice and that it is extremely urgent to act immediately. He warned, “We need a green planet, but we are on high alert.” At the same time as the summit was taking place, activist Greta Thunberg confronted members of Congress from the United States: “How long do you think you can ignore the climate crisis (…) without anyone holding you accountable?”