British Environment Secretary George Eustice said it was “a big change” to see the US engaging in global climate action following the lack of commitment on the issue from the Trump administration.
It's really welcome that the United States is back at the table on this agenda. The world can’t make progress here, unless we get very big players, including the united States at the table,” he told CNN.
While the Trump administration rolled back many of the climate commitments the US had made in the past, the Biden administration has “completely changed the US stance on this,” Eustice said.
Referring to his meeting with US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, Eustice said:
“It’s clear now that there is a real appetite in the US to play its part and take that global leadership again on this agenda. They are, now, really leading in this field.”
Eustice said he spoke with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson about his bilateral meeting with Biden, and that Johnson called it “a breath of fresh air” to have the US back at the table again. "So, I think it is a big change," Eustice said.
Apart from the G7 summit, the UK is also hosting the COP26 climate meeting later this year. Eustice says the aim is to get “more ambitious targets from countries to reduce their carbon emissions.”
The UK has already set its nationally determined contribution at 68% by the end of this decade, and “we’ve already said that by 2035, we want to 78% reduction against our 1990 level,” Eustice added.
However, the government's own independent climate advisor, the UK Climate Change Committee, said the government needs to put in place a firm and detailed plan on how to achieve the goal.
WATCH EUSTICE'S INTERVIEW WITH CNN'S BIANCA NOBILO: