- Date: April 13, 2021
- Author: Daniel Vernick
The pandemic isn’t the only reason that this past year was unusual. Remember that paralyzing cold snap that wreaked havoc across Texas? Or those fires that incinerated homes across the West Coast?
We know that the climate crisis continues to intensify with unprecedented magnitude, threatening our communities and wildlife. In particular, the impacts of a rapidly warming planet disproportionately harm communities of color, who already face the parallel crisis of systemic racism.
Our best shot at addressing the climate crisis is to reduce greenhouse gases by half by 2030. What is more, we must do it in a way that simultaneously creates jobs, strengthens public health, and tackles injustice. The good news is that strong climate policies are in reach.
On Earth Day, President Biden will host an international Leaders Climate Summit to rally world leaders around climate change. The goal is for countries to commit to strong measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also strengthening their climate resilience plans. Plus, the United States government is expected to announce its national climate plan before the meeting.
WWF is urging governments and companies to deliver bold, concrete climate action at the summit. Here are three ways the Biden administration should act:
1. Engage everyone in climate action
To adequately address the climate crisis, we need everyone. That means cities, companies, and states working together to take action at the scale the science requires. The federal government should provide support for these actors to engage in transformative climate action. If we all work together we can not only meet but beat our climate goals.
2. Harness the power of nature
Did you know that seagrass covers just 0.2% of the ocean floor but absorbs 10% of the ocean’s carbon each year? Nature is an important way to tackle greenhouse gas emissions. It is also a powerful tool in helping our communities adapt to the changing climate. Nature-based solutions—a suite of actions or policies that harness the power of nature to address some of our most pressing societal challenges, such as threats to water security, rising risk of extreme weather and disasters, or climate change—should be incorporated throughout the United States’ national climate plan.
3. Scale-up climate finance
Turning climate projects into reality in the short time period necessary to avoid catastrophic climate impacts requires immense financial support. The United States should increase its contributions to global funding mechanisms such as the Green Climate Fund.
It’s urgent that we ramp up the pressure to make sure our leaders act at the scale the science demands. Our communities and wildlife are at stake. If we act now, we can avoid catastrophic climate impacts. Will you take action with us?