United States President Joe Biden has weighed in on the extent to which climate change is devastating the livelihoods and economies of not only poor countries but also that of the United States. President Biden who spoke at the ongoing COP27 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, elevated the crisis into a security issue.
“The climate crisis is about human security, economic security, environment, and national security, and the very life of the planet.”
Science has revealed that the last eight years have been the warmest ever recorded. President Biden said that the world had witnessed historic drought, flooding, wildfires in the west, devastating hurricanes and storms in the east, and Africa, homes to many of which nations remain most vulnerable to climate change.
He added that the Nile river is rising due to intense rainfall, wreaking havoc on fishing and farming communities, with 1.3 million displaced people. In Nigeria, he said, six hundred people were killed by flooding.
The US President called on world leaders to act swiftly and jointly to tackle the crisis.
Leading by example, Mr. Biden announced that as part of his efforts to help poor countries, he began engagements with congress to quadruple the US support to climate financing and to provide US $ 11 billion annually by 2024, including US $3 billion for adaption. This funding is expected to help more than half of a billion people in developing countries respond to climate change.
“We are raising forward to do our part to avert the climate hell that the UN Secretary-General so passionately warned about earlier this week.”
The United States President admitted that climate disasters have hardest hit, so many poor countries with the fewest resources to respond.
The United States was the first country to contribute to the adaption fund last year and further double its pledge to bring the US total commitment to USD 150 million.
Climate adaptation in Africa, Mr. Biden added, is working toward just energy transmission, creating good jobs, spurring inclusive economic growth, and leaving no one behind as nations implement the Sustainable Development Goals.
“The interconnected challenges that we face can feel all-consuming and where people can see all around the world, especially Russia’s brutal attacks against Ukraine exacerbating food shortages, and energy sparks and costs, driving up global inflation.”
This story is produced as part of the 2022 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organized by Internews’ Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security.