The Fate of our Planet Rests in World Leaders’ Hands


Eric Haynes

President Biden speaks at COP26.

Audrey Smith, Writer

US President, Joe Biden, and other UN world leaders have joined together this past week to discuss global climate provisions.

Nicknamed COP26 (The 26th Conference of the Parties), the twelve day UN sponsored climate summit in Glasgow, UK, has focused on how to improve the global climate agenda in the face of climate change.

One of the main goals of the conference is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adjust to the warming temperatures of the planet. Leaders of the UN and the world have called for a more ambitious agenda, and to provide aid to less developed countries impacted by global warming.

Abdulla Shahid, President of the UN General Assembly, has expressed enough is enough. “We have the science. We have the resources. We agree on the urgency. We have run out of excuses. It is time to do the right thing.”

Joe Biden has pledged to “do the right thing.” Because the US is one of the lead contributors to climate change, Biden has pledged to cut carbon and coal emissions while also producing clean energy jobs.

According to AP News, Biden, “Used the summit to announce he planned to work with the U.S. Congress to provide $3 billion annually to help poorer countries and communities cope with climate damage.”

A possible roadblock to this plan is the President’s current Build Back Better infrastructure bill that is struggling to get through Congress. The proposed legislation contains around $500 billion in clean energy reforms. Almost all Republicans and two Democratic Senators (Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema) have objected to the bill, making the likelihood of its passing in unlikely.

While climate reform might not be secure in the US, it seems with the help of other developing countries, global reform is possible. Despite Russia and China’s lack of appearance at COP26, European countries have also taken the pledge of stepping up to fight climate change.

Reported in the Washington Post, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, has, “Urged the world to adopt a global standard on pricing carbon.”

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, advised, “We must take care to guard against false hope. We have still a very long way to go.”

However, Russia and China’s absence from the conference left some wary and angry at the two of the largest contributors to global warming. Biden criticized the countries in AP News arguing, “Not showing up, c’mon. The single most important thing that’s gotten the attention of the world is climate.”

With world leaders having left the conference on Tuesday, November 2, climate activists and other recognizable figures remained to discuss the looming impacts of climate change.

As the world continues to heat up, citizens of the world will rely on promises made at COP26 to save their planet.