Biden seeks to rally globe on climate: ‘This is a moral imperative’

US President Joe Biden sought to rally the international community to take action on climate change on Monday, telling global leaders at a pivotal summit they face a “moral imperative.”

Biden said world leaders are in the midst of a “decisive decade” that presents an “opportunity to prove ourselves” and unite as scientists warn that a failure to keep warming to within 1.5 degrees Celsius will have disastrous effects worldwide.

“Glasgow must be the kick-off of a decade of ambition and innovation to preserve our shared future. Climate change is already ravaging the world,” Biden said in the Scottish city as the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, began.

“In an age where this pandemic has made so painfully clear that no nation can wall itself off from borderless threats, we know that none of us can escape the worse that’s yet to come if we fail to seize this moment. But ladies and gentlemen, within the growing catastrophe I believe there’s an incredible opportunity, not just for the United States, but for all of us,” added Biden.

The US president’s appeal comes as he faces congressional deadlock at home that has jeopardized his plan to combat climate change, which he laid out last week before departing Washington for Europe.

Biden said his “framework” will reduce more than 1 billion metric tons of carbon emissions, which will build towards a 52% emission reduction by 2030. It includes some $555 billion in spending on key agenda items for Biden, including expanding clean energy tax credits, and investments in renewable energy domestic supply chains and technologies.

The package is currently in limbo amid congressional maneuvering between progressive and centrist Democrats. A vote could happen as soon as Tuesday.

COP26 will continue until Nov. 12 with numerous panels, meetings and side events, all looking for remedies to the climate crisis.

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