U.S. Climate Change Summit

3 May 2021

What can we extract from the recent Climate Change Summit hosted on online by America?

What happened? Day one, after a quick flurry of countries making some greater commitments to reducing their emissions, the press has since gone quiet. Day 2 of the summit, the day business leaders and others joined in, it became no longer of interest. Almost no coverage was made of activist action.

America has rejoined the 2015 Paris Accord and made further commitments to reduce U.S. emissions by at least 50% by 2030. A bold move after the previous President's inaction and cancelling of environmental action in favour of economic progress - a false dichotomy, of course. That said, President Biden has to get the new targets through the American Congress and persuade Americans to change from their high emission lifestyles.

A big surprise was Brazil. Previously President Bolsonaro has suggested Brazil might also withdraw from the Paris Accord and wanted to remove protections from Amazon rainforests. However, there are some other details in this this change of heart that bear examination. Brazil is asking America for $1bn to finance reduction of deforestation by 40% by 2030, having slimmed down funding for protection agencies and increased deforestation. Bolsonaro's suggestion was that more sustainable living and jobs could thus be encouraged for the Brazilian people, if subsidised by America.

Of the larger countries, Russia was vague as to its intentions. India and China did not offer any significantly greater commitments than already made. Canada 's offer was thought to be to be disappointing. GB has made some stronger commitments but the details of how this is to be achieved are yet to emerge.

Many countries did commit to significant further reductions in emissions, together with time spans for complying, but it seems more needs to be done to convince countries to accept the looming crisis and commit to clear and meaningful change. Vague declarations without details are insufficient.

This can be thought to be depressing but let's not forget we have come a long way. Many of us can remember days when there was almost no mention of the environment and usually only when a big event like an oil spill would hit the headlines. Much has changed and there is a wider understanding of the dangers of continuing the way we are. I can feel things starting to ramp up. Some politicians and businesses alike are understanding the need for radical action.

Many folk are not waiting for this much needed leadership and are aleady making changes in their life styles.

To find out more about how you can help Sustainable Crediton make change contact:


Dee Ross