‘Code red for humanity’: Biden calls for global response to climate change

World rapidly approaching point of no return, president says

UNITED NATIONS -- During his first address to the United Nations on Tuesday, President Joe Biden called on the world to collectively combat what he called the "borderless climate crisis."

Climate change was one of the pillars of Biden’s half-hour speech to the General Assembly. It’s an issue he said is affecting every nation on the planet.

"The extreme weather events that we have seen in every part of the world, and you all know it and feel it, represent what the secretary general has rightly called, ‘Code red for humanity,’ and the scientists and experts are telling us that we're fast approaching a point of no return in a literal sense," Biden said.

The president highlighted the goals he has set for the U.S., including reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050. He said his administration is also working with Congress to invest in green infrastructure and electric vehicles.

"The best part is, making these ambitious investments isn't just good climate policy," Biden said. "It's a chance for each of our countries to invest in ourselves and our own future. It's an enormous opportunity to create good-paying jobs for workers in each of our countries and to spur long-term economic growth and improve the quality of life for all of our people."

Biden said the U.S. also wants to help developing countries meet the challenges of a warming world. He said he would work with Congress to double financing for up-and-coming nations aimed at helping them adapt to climate change.

"This will make the United States a leader in public climate finance, and with our added support, together with increased private capital … from other donors, we will be able to meet the goal of mobilizing $100 billion to support climate action in developing nations," Biden said.

Biden called on nations to bring their best ideas to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in November, urging continued progress toward addressing the climate crisis.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we cannot afford to waste any more time," Biden said. "Let's get to work."