When the US officially left the Paris Agreement last November – a decision made by President Donald Trump in 2017 – Joe Biden tweeted: “In exactly 77 days, a Biden government will rejoin the agreement.”
“Therefore, as of today, the United States will stop implementing the non-binding Paris Agreement and the draconian financial and economic burdens that the agreement imposes on our country,” he said, consistently questioning the validity of the scientific consensus on the climate since Chance.
“This includes ending the implementation of the nationally set contribution and most importantly the Green Climate Fund, which is costing the United States a huge fortune.”
Meanwhile, in July, Biden said, “I know that meeting the challenge would be a golden opportunity to breathe new life into our economy, strengthen our global leadership, and protect our planet for future generations.”
“If I have the honor of being elected president, we won’t just tinker with the margins. We will make historical investments, take the opportunity and live this moment in history. ”
If Mr Biden has the honor of becoming America’s 47th President, his promise to make “critical investments” in climate change will draw attention to Australia’s own backyard – particularly the views of Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
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Speaking on Friday night, local time, Mr. Biden said that “it is becoming clear every hour that record numbers of Americans of all races, creeds and religions have chosen to switch to more of the same.”
“You have given us a mandate to take action on COVID, the economy, climate change and systemic racism. They have made it clear that they want the country to come together and not move further apart. ”
Under a Biden administration, the US will have “the most progressive position on climate change in the nation’s history,” wrote Christian Downie of the Australian National University in an article for The conversation.
The $ 2 trillion “historic” clean energy and infrastructure plan is for an energy sector that is free of carbon pollution by 2035. a goal of net zero emissions by 2050 and, among other things, upgrading four million buildings and two million apartments during his tenure to meet new energy efficiency standards.
While the plan could be constrained by a likely Republican Senate, “it requires ambitious goals and mandates for the energy, transportation and manufacturing sectors, backed by billions in government investments,” wrote Dr. Downie.
“Fortunately, Biden promises exactly that.”
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison, on the other hand, has refused to commit to a net zero emissions target – something that Labor, all seven Australian states and territories and more than 70 countries around the world support.
Instead, the federal government has drawn up a technology roadmap with the implicit goal of achieving the goal in the second half of this century.
Morrison’s British counterpart, Boris Johnson, stressed in a telephone conversation that “we need bold action to combat climate change”.
The likely choice of Mr Biden, the executive director of the Australian industrial group, Innes Willox, said The Australianshould “spur” Mr. Morrison to finally join the call.
“The adoption of an Australian target of net zero emissions by 2050 was already strong given the climate impact and the decreasing cost of solutions,” said Willox.
“The fact that most of our largest trading partners are adopting net zero – China, Japan, South Korea, the EU, the UK and now the potential of a Biden-led US – should not only encourage Australia to do so, but also to reposition our economy to thrive in a world with no net emissions. ”
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If Mr. Morrison does not reconcile Australia’s commitment with the “ambitious climate policy of a Biden government,” wrote Dr. Downie: “At any international negotiation our diplomats come to, not only will climate change be high on the agenda, but we will likely be subject to constant criticism.”
“With Biden in the White House, not only is global climate policy turned upside down,” he said.
“Australia’s failure to implement serious domestic climate and energy policies could be costly. A cost, mind you, that is easily avoidable if Australia takes action against climate change, and now. ”
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