A Welcome Change

There is no doubt about the changes that Joe Biden’s arrival in the White House have produced. Today, America’s position regarding the environment and global warming is different, and is more in line with global concerns about the most urgent problems facing humanity.

In three months, the United States went from the savage capitalism promoted by Donald Trump, where it was fundamental for the nation to produce and generate wealth in spite of the damaging consequences, to a scenario in which it accepts its share of responsibility for climate change and demonstrates an intention to work toward reducing that gap.

Biden’s shift in policy is reflected in the decision to return to the Paris Agreement and convene the Leaders Summit on Climate, to be held the third week of April. He has invited leaders of the 17 countries responsible for 80% of greenhouse gas emissions, including leaders from China and Russia, as well as leaders from 23 countries, including Colombia, affected or compromised by the solutions. It is one step on the right path, even when what is most important is to accomplish proposed goals and back consensus with decisive action.

The Paris Agreement already provides a road map, signed by 195 countries, which, while not a perfect treaty, has achieved global acceptance. Five years after it was announced, and after the rough patch during which the U.S. withdrew from the accord under Trump’s direction, it must now be put into practice and must not fail, as has long been the case with these multilateral initiatives.

Radical solutions cannot wait any longer due to the deterioration of the Earth as a result of the sustained loss of natural resources, the disappearance of many species as a consequence of the destruction of ecosystems, and the record-level warming of the oceans, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

The increase in extreme weather is evidence of the effects of the damage to the planet. The more frequent and stronger hurricanes, and climate patterns such as El Niño or La Nina that intensify rainy seasons or accentuate dry periods, are examples of this.

This is why it is important that the leaders, organized by Biden, meet, debate and, above all, agree, getting past their political differences to reach the proposed objectives, which are no different from the action needed to move forward in order to save the world and all of its inhabitants. The Paris Agreement is supposed to be all that we need to convert to clean energies, reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and reduce contamination of the environment.

The goals are precise; now they must be achieved. This is why the change is welcome. If the Leaders Summit on Climate that the president is promoting in good time results in concrete, measurable and achievable compromises from each of the 40 nations, it will be one step forward in reversing the runaway course that humanity has followed for decades against its most precious real estate: its own home.

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