John Kerry, Chinese Official Among Global Leaders Who Joined Climate Change Summit

Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations and chair of the Global Center on Adaptation, is seen on a screen speaking in The Hague on January 20, 2021, during a press briefing on the upcoming Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 which will be held on 25 and 26 January held …
SEM VAN DER WAL/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

Less than week after being sworn in as president, Joe Biden has put his climate change agenda on the fast track, including rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, and on Monday John Kerry, United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, took part in a virtual climate change summit with officials from other countries.

Reuters reported that in addition to Kerry, China’s Deputy Prime Minister Han Zheng, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson took part in the Climate Adaptation Summit.

The Netherlands hosted the event designed to lay out plans for solving so-called manmade climate change between now and 2030.

Reuters reported on the meeting: 

Ahead of the summit, more than 3,000 scientists from across the globe pressed leaders to better protect people from the fall out of global warming.Climate change could depress global food production by up to 30 percent, while rising seas and greater storms could force hundreds of millions in coastal cities out of their homes, summit organizer the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) said.

No binding commitments [were] made at the summit, but leaders will try to set an action agenda, charting plans and proposals to create a climate resilient planet by the end of the decade.Britain said it plans to team up with Egypt, Bangladesh, Malawi, Saint Lucia and the Netherlands in an initiative that could include early warning systems for storms and investments in flood drainage and in drought-resistant crops.

“Our fast-warming world is already experiencing major disruptions from more intense droughts, fires, heat waves, floods, destructive tropical cyclones and other extreme events”, the scientists said in a statement. “Unless we step up and adapt now, the results will be increasing poverty, water shortages, agricultural losses and soaring levels of migration with an enormous toll on human life.”

“There is no vaccine for climate change,” GCA chair and former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters before the summit, Reuters reported.

“It is happening much, much faster than we think, causing cascading risks and impact. Building resilience to climate change is not nice to have, it is a must have,” he said.

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