“Climate change is already ravaging the world,” US President Joe Biden said on Monday, 1 November, as he addressed the COP26 World Leaders' Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, where leaders have gathered to discuss goals related to mitigating climate change.
The president opened his remarks by saying, "To state the obvious, we meet with the eyes of history upon us and a profound question before us. It’s simple: Will we act? Will we do what is necessary? Will we seize the enormous opportunity before us? Or will we condemn future generations to suffer."
President Biden continued: “This is the decade that will determine the answer. This decade.”
This is the Decisive Decade, Says Biden
“We are standing at an inflection point in world history,” he said, adding that no one can escape the worst that is yet to come if this moment is not seized and noting that there is only a “brief window” to take action to curb emissions.
"This is the decisive decade. If we commit to doing our part of each of our nations with determination and ambition, that’s what COP26 is all about. Glasgow must be the kick-off of a decade of ambition and innovation," the president said, adding that he believes that there is an incredible opportunity not just for US but for everyone.
"We have the ability to invest in ourselves and build an equitable clean energy future, and in the process create millions of good-paying jobs and opportunities around the world."US President Joe Biden
President Biden attempted to show that the US would lead by example in addressing climate change, saying that "the United States is not only back at the table, but, hopefully, leading by the power of our example."
The president also said that the United States wants to help developing countries accelerate their clean energy transitions, adding, "we have an obligation to help."
'Climate Change an Existential Threat to Human Existence'
Earlier on Monday, ahead of his statement, President Biden had taken to Twitter to write that climate change an existential threat to human existence as we know it.
"Let this be the moment that we answer history's call," he further wrote.
The president reiterated his point in his speech later, calling it "the challenge of our collective lifetimes" and stating that every day of delay increases the cost.
“Let this be the start of a decade of transformative action that preserves our planet and raises the quality of life for people everywhere. We can do this. We just have to make choice to do it. So, let's get to work,” Biden said.