The BBC reporter discussed Joe Biden‘s record with climate change on the eve of the COP26 Summit, where the US President is expected to play a leading role in securing international commitment to combat climate change. Mr Atkins discussed the US record with carbon emission, noting a significant discrepancy between the path the country currently is on and the goals Mr Biden set for his administration. The Outside Source presenter said: “This is hard going for President Biden and while Congress decides America’s future action on climate, we already know the present and the past.
“America emits 16 tonnes of CO2 per person per year. That’s more than double the per capita rate of Europe or China.
“America is responsible for 20 percent of all historic emissions. And now America’s President has ambitions to do things differently.”
Commenting on a graphic showcasing the US’ current emission projections, Mr Atkins continued: “The US is aiming to be carbon-neutral by 2050.
That’s marked by the red line but America right now is the blue line. Again, it’s off-track.
“And unless more of its people and politicians are persuaded to do more about emissions, there will continue to be a significant gap between American targets and American reality.”
President Biden kicked off his administration in January by rejoining the Paris Accords his predecessor Donald Trump had signed out of, setting a goal to establish the US as a net-zero emissions economy.
The White House said a new spending bill set to be scrutinised by Congress will represent the “largest effort to combat climate change in American history.”
The Build Better Bill underwent severe changes following threats from Democratic Senators to tank the initiative, but the Biden Administration said they remained confident the proposal would pass and set the US “on course to meet its climate goals.”
“Not everyone got everything they wanted, not even me,” Biden conceded in his White House remarks. “But that’s what compromise is. That’s consensus. And that’s what I ran on.”
Former President Barack Obama echoed a similar sentiment.
Mr Obama said: “The Build Back Better framework doesn’t contain everything the president had proposed and that some had hoped. But that’s the nature of progress in a democracy.”
The White House said the larger spending plan framework Biden presented on Thursday would be fully paid for by repealing certain tax rebates passed under Trump and imposing surcharges on corporate stock buybacks and the earnings of the wealthiest Americans.