A Chinese official characterised the US return to the international climate scene, not unfairly, as a “truant getting back to class”.
Joe Biden just about scraped a pass with his first assignment yesterday, and inspired varying degrees of improvement from his slacker pals Japan, Canada and South Korea.
China may have a strong attendance record but will not win any school prizes for Xi Jinping’s long overdue acknowledgment that phasing out coal is essential to climate action.
UK is the class swot, doing its homework with the Climate Change Committee breathing down its neck. It’s a status Boris Johnson appears uncomfortable with, casually insulting those who actually care about the environment as “bunny huggers”, to general bemusement. You get the sense he’d rather be sharing a cigarette with Scott Morrison behind the bike shed.
To stretch the metaphor, Greta Thunberg is the headteacher poking her head round the door to say they’ve all let the school down. Except there is no authority dispensing discipline, just peer pressure.
We live blogged all the opening speeches and US climate finance pledge. Catch up here.
This week’s news…
- US pledges to double international climate finance at Earth Day summit
- As it happened: US, Japan, Canada pledged deeper emissions cuts at Biden summit
- EU reaches hard-fought deal on climate law ahead of US leaders’ summit
- Poland seeks to nationalise coal plants so firms can finance green investments
- Biden’s moment: What to expect from Thursday’s climate leaders summit
- Can Biden forge a new social contract for the climate? – Kumi Naidoo, Green Economy Coalition