In response to today’s executive actions on climate change, Kristen Hite, Oxfam America’s Associate Director for Climate Change, made the following statement:
“Oxfam welcomes President Biden’s executive actions as the United States gets back into the global fight against climate change and prioritizes environmental justice. The suite of domestic actions today will set things in motion to finally confront the inequality caused by climate change. The world is watching to see how the important environmental justice focus will shift foreign policy, starting with the Climate Leaders’ Summit and updated pledges for finance and climate action.
“Back at the global negotiating table, the US has a renewed mandate for ambitious climate action and urgency to make up for lost time. With today’s executive actions, the Biden administration is hitting the ground running.
“The newly announced Climate Leaders’ Summit on Earth Day gives President Biden and US Climate Envoy John Kerry the chance to put their money where their mouth is and prioritize local adaptation needs for the poorest both here in the US and overseas – the area of greatest unmet need in the climate fight. The announcement that the US will be updating its national climate pledge and make good on its climate finance pledge is an important opportunity to refocus on the needs of the most vulnerable.
“Poor communities on the frontlines didn't cause this crisis but are suffering the most, and deserve to be included in the updated national commitment the US announced it is submitting as part of its re-entry into the Paris Agreement.
“Given the lack of progress in the last four years, it's got to be an all-out sprint for bold and inclusive action that protects people and planet. The climate crisis is affecting every country and every continent, but it is the poorest people who are least responsible for the problem who suffer the most. That’s why reducing emissions must be coupled with efforts to help frontline communities cope with mounting climate impacts.
“Addressing the needs of the vulnerable, here at home and around the world, must be at the heart of the Biden administration’s climate agenda. We must bridge borders and stand up for the right to a livable planet for all.”