Climate change to be centre of national security, foreign policy, says Joe Biden

By: |
January 28, 2021 8:59 AM

Biden on Wednesday signed a series of executive orders and took steps to address this challenge, which he identified as one of the most pressing threats of the era.

joe bidenBiden has named former Secretary of State Kerry, John Kerry, as special presidential envoy for climate. (Photo source: Reuters)

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday said the climate change threat will be the centre of his national security and foreign policy. Biden on Wednesday signed a series of executive orders and took steps to address this challenge, which he identified as one of the most pressing threats of the era.

”Look, this executive order I’m signing today also makes it official that climate change will be the centre of our national security and foreign policy,” Biden told reporters at the White House. Biden has named former Secretary of State Kerry, John Kerry, as special presidential envoy for climate. ”With him the world knows how serious I am,” he said. Kerry, he said, was instrumental in negotiating the Paris Climate Agreement, which his administration rejoined on day one. ”Today’s executive order will help strengthen that commitment by working with other nations to support the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change and to increase our collective resilience,” he said. ”That includes a summit of world leaders that I’ll convene to address the climate crisis on Earth Day this year. In order to establish a new effort to integrate the security implications of climate change as part of our national security, risk assessment and analysis will also be included,” Biden said.

The executive orders signed by Biden will put the country on an “irreversible path” to a net zero economy by 2050. ”Our plans are ambitious but we are America. We’re bold. We’re unwavering in the pursuit of jobs and innovation and science and discovery. We can do this. We must do this and we will do this. I’m now going to sign the executive order to meet the climate crisis with American jobs and American ingenuity,” he said. Biden said the US has already waited too long to deal with the climate crisis. ”We can’t wait any longer. We see it with our own eyes. We feel it. We know it in our bones and it’s time to act,” he asserted. ”If you notice the attitude of the American people towards greater impetus on focusing on climate change and doing something about it has increased across the board. That’s why I’m signing today an executive order to supercharge our administration ambitious plan to confront the existential threat of climate change,” he said.

In the executive order, Biden said the United States will immediately begin the process of developing its nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement. The process will include analysis and input from relevant executive departments and agencies as well as appropriate outreach to domestic stakeholders.

The United States will aim to submit its nationally determined contribution in advance of the Leaders’ Climate Summit. Biden said he will host an early Leaders’ Climate Summit aimed at raising climate ambition and making a positive contribution to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) and beyond.

The United States will reconvene the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, beginning with the Leaders’ Climate Summit.

In cooperation with the members of that Forum, as well as with other partners, the United States will pursue green recovery efforts, initiatives to advance the clean energy transition, sectoral decarbonisation and alignment of financial flows with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, including with respect to coal financing, nature-based solutions and solutions to other climate-related challenges, he said.

Recognising that climate change affects a wide range of subjects, Biden said it will be a United States priority to press for enhanced climate ambition and integration of climate considerations across a wide range of international fora, including the groupings like the G7 and G20.

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