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President Biden Invites 40 World Leaders to a Earth Day Climate Summit

For Earth Day 2021, President Biden will hold a virtual “Leaders Summit on Climate” and has invited 40 world leaders to ramp up global climate ambition ahead of a United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, later this year (COP26)[1].  The Summit will be held on April 22 and 23 that will be streamed for public viewing[2].

President Biden,  who was elected into office during the worst pandemic in more than 100 years, prioritized man-made climate change on his first day in the White House. He returned the US to the Paris Agreement and pledged that the country would substantially cut its greenhouse gas pollution.  “When I think of climate change...I think of jobs,” President Biden said at a signing ceremony for an executive order that, among other goals, sought to bolster renewable energy industries with federal purchase priorities for U.S.-made electric vehicles, sustainable technologies, and smart-grid efforts, building modern and sustainable infrastructure, restoring scientific integrity and evidence-based policymaking across the federal government, and re-establishing the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.  Biden’s Order established the “Leaders Summit on Climate”; the Office of Domestic Climate Policy, and the National Climate Task Force, which will coordinate climate-mitigation efforts across 21 federal agencies and departments.  As well as the Department of Defense Climate Working Group— the Pentagon announced. All these agencies and groups, in turn, join John Kerry, Special Envoy for Climate and a member of the United States National Security Council, in an administration directing its climate focus both domestically and internationally.

Flowers of the Desert
Pictured a selection of work from Ilhan Sayin’s digital solo art show “Flowers of the Desert” which is a follow-up to  “Atelier Teymur Rzayev First Digital Climate Change Art Show” where his flowering cacti paintings received rave reviews.

The president said:

“Last year, wildfires burned more than 5,000 acres in the West — as no one knows better than the Vice President, a former Senator from California — an area roughly the size of the entire state of New Jersey.  More intense and powerful hurricanes and tropical storms pummeled states across the Gulf Coast and along the East Coast — I can testify to that, from Delaware.  Historic floods, severe droughts have ravaged the Midwest.  More Americans see and feel the devastation in big cities, small towns, coastlines, and farmlands in red states and blue states.  And the Defense Department reported that climate change is a direct threat to more than two-thirds of the military’s operational critical installations…. And many climate and health calamities are colliding all at once.  It’s not just the pandemic that keeps people inside; it’s poor air quality.  Multiple studies have shown that air pollution is associated with an increased risk of death from COVID-19.  And just like we need a unified national response to COVID-19, we desperately need a unified national response to the climate crisis because there is a climate crisis.”

Related:  Honouring World Science Day and London Climate Action Week with Digital Art Shows

The U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve, and the Securities Exchange Commission are assessing the climate change financial impacts, disclosure risks, and opportunities[3]. The American Jobs Plan proposes taking away major tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry[4].  John Kerry has also pitched financial institutions on creating a US net-zero banking alliance with the growing popularity of ESG investing – or environmental, social and governance investing -

"I am in discussions right now with a number of our largest asset managers and major banking institutions with hopes that we can begin to understand where the capital could come from and how it can go to these sectors.[5]"

Because the global COVID-19 pandemic --which hit the US the hardest in the world-- came as a dramatic wake-up call of the importance of climate change for our daily lives and economies.

The President invited the following leaders to participate in the Summit that is expected to bring together top CO2 emitting countries with the theme of a sustainable recovery plan from the pandemic, which necessitates understanding the links between climate change, health, and inequality; and implementing ambitious climate change policies, by all countries to promote prosperity, technological, scientific advancement while protecting the planet which aligns with the Paris agreement.

Leaders Summit on Climate

1.Prime Minister Gaston BrowneAntigua and Barbuda
2.President Alberto FernandezArgentina
3.Prime Minister Scott MorrisonAustralia
4.Prime Minister Sheikh HasinaBangladesh
5.Prime Minister Lotay TsheringBhutan
6.President Jair Bolsonaro,Brazil
7.Prime Minister Justin TrudeauCanada
8.President Sebastián Piñera,Chile
9.President Xi Jinping,People’s Republic of China
10.President Iván Duque MárquezColombia
11.President Félix TshisekediDemocratic Republic of the Congo
12.Prime Minister Mette FrederiksenDenmark
13.President Ursula von der LeyenEuropean Commission
14.President Charles MichelEuropean Council
15.President Emmanuel MacronFrance
16.President Ali Bongo OndimbaGabon
17.Chancellor Angela MerkelGermany
18.Prime Minister Narendra ModiIndia
19President Joko WidodoIndonesia
20.Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuIsrael
21.Prime Minister Mario DraghiItaly
22.Prime Minister Andrew HolnessJamaica
23.Prime Minister Yoshihide SugaJapan
24.President Uhuru KenyattaKenya
25.President David KabuaRepublic of the Marshall Islands
26.President Andrés Manuel López ObradorMexico
27.Prime Minister Jacinda ArdernNew Zealand
28.President Muhammadu BuhariNigeria
29.Prime Minister Erna SolbergNorway
30.President Andrzej DudaPoland
31.President Moon Jae-inRepublic of Korea
32.President Vladimir PutinThe Russian Federation
33.King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al SaudKingdom of Saudi Arabia
34.Prime Minister Lee Hsien LoongSingapore
35.President Matamela Cyril RamaphosaSouth Africa
36.Prime Minister Pedro SánchezSpain
37.President Recep Tayyip ErdoğanTurkey
38.President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al NahyanUnited Arab Emirates
39.Prime Minister Boris JohnsonUnited Kingdom
40.President Nguyễn Phú TrọngVietnam

During April –Earth Month-- carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere reached a milestone 421 parts per million, the highest concentration in 3.6 million years according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

At the Summit:

  • The US (to cut carbon emissions at least in half)[6] and Canada[7] will announce  their 2030 emissions target as their new Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement;
  •  Former Bank of England governor Mark Carney will unveil the Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net Zero ahead of COP26 consisting of about 30  European and U.S. banks which are pledging to reach net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050[8].

Ahead of the Summit:

As part of the 2021 Earth Day events, thirteen digital art shows I curated and participated in with the themes of a green recovery from the pandemic that include paintings acknowledged in several United Nations art competitions will be on exhibit at EarthDay.Org website

Sources & References:


By Selva Ozelli, Esq., CPA.

Selva Ozelli Esq, CPA is a legal and finance executive with diversified experience dealing with highly complex issues in the field of international taxation and related matters within the banking, securities, Fintech, alternative and traditional investment funds. Her first of its kind legal analyses involving tax laws, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), blockchain technology, solar technology and the environment and have been published in journals, books and by the OECD. Her writings have been translated into 15 languages.

Photo by NOAA on Unsplash
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