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). The Summit will be held on April 22 and 23 that will be streamed for public viewing.
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.
“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. The American Jobs Plan proposes taking away major tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry. 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."
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.
|1.||Prime Minister Gaston Browne||Antigua and Barbuda|
|2.||President Alberto Fernandez||Argentina|
|3.||Prime Minister Scott Morrison||Australia|
|4.||Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina||Bangladesh|
|5.||Prime Minister Lotay Tshering||Bhutan|
|6.||President Jair Bolsonaro,||Brazil|
|7.||Prime Minister Justin Trudeau||Canada|
|8.||President Sebastián Piñera,||Chile|
|9.||President Xi Jinping,||People’s Republic of China|
|10.||President Iván Duque Márquez||Colombia|
|11.||President Félix Tshisekedi||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|12.||Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen||Denmark|
|13.||President Ursula von der Leyen||European Commission|
|14.||President Charles Michel||European Council|
|15.||President Emmanuel Macron||France|
|16.||President Ali Bongo Ondimba||Gabon|
|17.||Chancellor Angela Merkel||Germany|
|18.||Prime Minister Narendra Modi||India|
|19||President Joko Widodo||Indonesia|
|20.||Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu||Israel|
|21.||Prime Minister Mario Draghi||Italy|
|22.||Prime Minister Andrew Holness||Jamaica|
|23.||Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga||Japan|
|24.||President Uhuru Kenyatta||Kenya|
|25.||President David Kabua||Republic of the Marshall Islands|
|26.||President Andrés Manuel López Obrador||Mexico|
|27.||Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern||New Zealand|
|28.||President Muhammadu Buhari||Nigeria|
|29.||Prime Minister Erna Solberg||Norway|
|30.||President Andrzej Duda||Poland|
|31.||President Moon Jae-in||Republic of Korea|
|32.||President Vladimir Putin||The Russian Federation|
|33.||King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud||Kingdom of Saudi Arabia|
|34.||Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong||Singapore|
|35.||President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa||South Africa|
|36.||Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez||Spain|
|37.||President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan||Turkey|
|38.||President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan||United Arab Emirates|
|39.||Prime Minister Boris Johnson||United Kingdom|
|40.||President Nguyễn Phú Trọng||Vietnam|
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.
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
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.