THE BIDEN administration has apologised for the four wasted years lost under climate change “renegade” former US President Donald Trump.
Trump was a vocal opponent of the idea that rising temperatures and sea levels were a cause for concern and even went as far as withdrawing the US from the Paris Accord set up to establish limits on CO2 emissions.
Speaking ahead of a global summit being held to discuss the climate crisis, America’s climate envoy John Kerry expressed regret at the handling of this “extremely urgent” issue under the previous administration.
“The word ‘urgent’ is totally applicable to the current crisis that we’re in because countries are simply not getting the job done,” Kerry told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday.
“Even if we did everything that we set out to do in the Paris Agreement, the Earth’s temperature is going to increase a very significant amount, perhaps as much as 3.7 degrees or more,” the climate envoy said.
“And the reason for the real urgency now is that because we’re not getting done what we said we’d do in Paris, it’s actually heading towards 4 degrees or more.”
“That’s beyond catastrophic in the consequences to food production, water, habitability in various parts of the planet, the melting of ice, the sea level rise, the warming - all the consequences,” he said.
'We are very sorry for the last four years when the president didn't care about science.'@JohnKerry tells @SophyRidgeSky that "no one nation" can tackle climate change on its own.#Ridge: https://t.co/jC2xzcMCbv pic.twitter.com/3Itbc5I3Ae
— Trevor Phillips on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) April 18, 2021
One of the first things Joe Biden did upon assuming the office of President was to reverse the decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement.
Eager to draw a line under Trump’s time in the White House, Kerry apologised for the previous administration’s actions.
“We are very sorry for the last four years with a president who didn’t care about science and who didn’t have a real rationale for pulling out, but he was the only president in the world, the only leader in the world, who pulled out of this [Paris] agreement,” Kerry said.
“President Biden said the first thing he’d do as president is return; we’ve done that and now with this summit we’re going to try and bring nations to the table to do what we need to do to get the job done for future generations,” he added.
“...This is why we bring nations together and, unfortunately, the United States became a renegade in the last four years under the non-leadership of President Trump, but we are now back and present with a very aggressive series of initiatives in order to try to make up for lost time.”
The remarks followed on from an announcement that the US and China had struck an agreement to work together on a solution for the climate crisis.
World leaders are set to meet for a two-day virtual summit on the crisis starting on April 22nd.