2021 a make or break year for humanity to respond to runaway global warming

World leaders attending virtually the Leaders Summit on Climate in the East Room of the White House in Washington, on April 23, 2021.PHOTO: NYTIMES

WASHINGTON - After years of false starts, the just-concluded two-day Climate Summit of 40 countries convened by US President Joe Biden did seem to be a new beginning - a "last best chance", as the President's climate change envoy John Kerry put it.

Yet while some leaders made public pledges, most were non-specific. That is why even the most optimistic are only cautiously so. If humanity is to avert 3 deg C or more of warming above pre-industrial levels, which it is on track for now, serious action needs to start now - and nowhere more urgently than in the United States.

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