Lots on Biden’s Earth Day Leaders Summit Leadup, and American Forests.Org Touts “Tree Equity.”
Lots on Biden’s Earth Day Leaders Summit Leadup, and American Forests.Org Touts “Tree Equity”
BIDEN’S LEADERS SUMMIT PART 1
For the last four years in the USA, “earth day” was a dirty littler word that you could only utter indoors, in speakeasies. That’s because it seemed like the Trump administration and its anti-Earth patrol were out in full force collaring any and all climate-friendly cohorts.
So perhaps, despite the ongoing COVID pandemic, celebrating Earth Day this year is such a breath of fresh air. Such a relief to be able to that many American cities are celebrating all of April as Earth Month—finally catching up to the rest of the world. So, in honor of the rational exuberance of America rejoining the Paris Agreement, and committing to acting on Climate Change, we at The Climate Daily dedicate the rest of the month to reporting on local Earth Month happenings around the U.S. and the world. But first, the latest on what the Biden Administration is doing in preparation for Earth Day.
President Biden is planning to hold a major summit on Earth Day 2021. In a recent announcement, he invited 40 world leaders to the Leaders Summit on Climate he will host on April 22 and 23. The virtual Leaders Summit will be live streamed for public viewing. In his invitation, the President urged leaders to use the Summit as an opportunity to outline how their countries also will contribute to stronger climate ambition.
The Leaders Summit on Climate will underscore the urgency – and the economic benefits – of stronger climate action. It will be a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow.
BIDEN’S LEADERS SUMMIT PART 2
President Biden’s Leaders’ Summit will reconvene the U.S.-led Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, which brings together 17 countries responsible for approximately 80 percent of global emissions and global GDP. In addition, the President has invited the heads of other countries that are demonstrating strong climate leadership, are especially vulnerable to climate impacts, or are charting innovative pathways to a net-zero economy. A small number of business and civil society leaders will also participate in the Summit.
The two-day event will be held on April 22 & 23 2021, which coincides with the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Key themes of the Summit will include:
- Galvanizing efforts by the world’s major economies to reduce emissions during this critical decade to keep a limit to warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.
- Mobilizing public and private sector finance to drive the net-zero transition and to help vulnerable countries cope with climate impacts.
- Highlighting the economic benefits of climate action, with a strong emphasis on job creation, and the importance of ensuring all communities and workers benefit from the transition to a new clean energy economy.
- Spurring transformational technologies that can help reduce emissions and adapt to climate change, while also creating enormous new economic opportunities and building the industries of the future.
- Showcasing subnational and non-state actors who are committed to green recovery and are working closely with national governments to advance ambition and resilience.
- Discussing opportunities to strengthen capacity to protect lives and livelihoods from the impacts of climate change, address the global security challenges – and the impact on readiness – posed by climate change, and address the role of nature-based solutions in achieving net zero by 2050 goals.
DEEPER DIVE: The White House
BIDEN LEADERS SUMMIT PART 3
Heads of state, including Xi Jinping of China and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, have been asked to attend the two-day meeting meant to mark Washington’s return to the front lines of the fight against human-caused climate change, after Donald Trump disengaged from the process. “They know they’re invited,” Biden said of Xi and Putin. “But I haven’t spoken to either one of them yet.”
The start of the summit on 22 April coincides with Earth Day, and will come ahead of a major UN meeting on the crisis, scheduled for November in Glasgow, Scotland. Biden’s event is being staged entirely online due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also invited to the Leaders Summit, include leaders from Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Denmark, Kenya, the Marshall Islands, Nigeria, and Vietnam.
“The summit will also highlight examples of how enhanced climate ambition will create good-paying jobs, advance innovative technologies, and help vulnerable countries adapt to climate impacts,” the White House said in a statement.
AMERICAN FORESTS AND TREE EQUITY
Hey, Jeffrey. Ever heard of the phrase, “Tree Equity”? According to American Forests.org, Tree Equity is about ensuring every neighborhood has enough trees so that every person can reap the benefits that trees can offer.
You see, in most cities across America, trees are sparse in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods and some neighborhoods of color. This exacerbates social inequities. It does so because trees affect the urban environment and therefore the health of city citizens. Trees improve air quality, water distribution, human health and local biodiversity, as well as local air temperature.
Trees retain a majority of the precipitation that falls on them, and they moderate the temperature of the water and act as natural filters for any of the water that happens to run off. They also help reduce the Urban Heat Island effect that contributes to unhealthy urban air and climate change. They also can help reduce the distribution of dust and particulate matter throughout the city, as well as the production of smog. So the LACK of trees has the negative effect of bad health outcomes.
AmericanForests.org even has a “Tree Equity Score” where city government employees, community activists, urban foresters and others are encouraged to use the scores, especially in areas where low tree cover overlaps with socioeconomic and environmental needs, to make the case for planting more trees in neighborhoods and allocating resources needed to do so.
The Climate Daily recently reported on the Stillmeadow Community in Baltimore and their work to restore a degraded urban forest in their city. According to group leader, pastor Michael Martin, “The project inspired the community to learn more about how their local ecosystem and wildlife has been impacted by the effects of climate change.”
DEEPER DIVE: American Forests