Climate summit cannot be “politically correct green act of bunny hugging,” UK prime minister says

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

In his second set of remarks at the climate summit, President Biden outlined the case for global cooperation in the fight against climate change through an economic lens.

Much like the first portion of the virtual summit, there were technical issues at the top, with Biden’s remarks echoing as he spoke for the first four minutes of a six-minute speech. 

“Every nation has responsibility, and every nation is at risk… Instability and displacement in one country can have ripple effects that are felt throughout regions and across the world. Taking on climate change together is more than just the right thing to do, it’s also in everyone’s best interest to do it. Meeting this challenge is going to require mobilizing financing at an unprecedented scale,” he said, pointing to investment from the private sector.

Governments, he said, need to lead in “making sure that real material climate risks to financial systems are measured, disclosed and mitigated.” The response, he added, is “about international security, regional stability, food security, and gender and racial equality.”

Mobilizing against the threat of climate change, Biden told the world leaders, is “an investment that’s going to pay significant dividends.”

As part of the Biden administration’s commitment to have the US lead on this issue, he announced the US will double its annual public climate financing development to developing countries by 2024. The US also intends to triple public financing for climate application in developing countries by 2024. 

He noted the Development Finance Corporation is also committing to net zero emissions in its investment portfolio by 2040, and has increased climate focused investments to 33% of all new investments beginning in 2023, which, Biden said, is “the earliest of any country.”

Biden reiterated the “urgency” of the moment as he concluded. 

“Good ideas and good intentions aren’t good enough. We need to ensure that the financing will be there, both public and private, to meet the moment on climate change and to help us seize the opportunity for good jobs, strong economies, and a more secure world,” he said.

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