Nov 1, 2021 11:47 AM EDT

Biden urges ‘decade of ambition and innovation’ to preserve future

President Joe Biden emphasized the quickly closing window of opportunity to address global warming — and the mounting costs of delaying that action — in his opening remarks at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, on Monday.

To implement policies that will limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C, the next 10 years will have to be a “decade of ambition and innovation to preserve our shared future,” he said.

WATCH: Biden speaks at COP26 climate summit in Glasgow

He also said that climate change’s impact on people’s livelihoods, particularly when it comes to increasing severe weather events like floods and droughts, is a “moral and economic imperative.”

“We can create an environment that raises the standard of living around the world… It’s in the self-interest of every single nation,” Biden said. “And this is a chance, in my view, to make a generational investment in our economic resilience and in our workers and our communities throughout the world.”

Biden touted his domestic Build Back Better plan, which he said would focus on investing in clean energy, dramatically reducing carbon emissions and creating “good-paying union jobs.” He announced that he’d be releasing the United States’ long-term strategy for combating climate change and achieving the goal of “net-zero emissions economy wide by 2050,” as well as a new plan to “implement the global goal of adaptation,” which includes America’s “first-ever contribution to the adaptation fund.”

The president acknowledged that larger, wealthier countries are disproportionately responsible for generating the emissions that have contributed to climate change, and that those nations are therefore obligated to support developing ones in their effort to grapple with the consequences of warming.

“[This is] the challenge of our collective lifetimes, the threat to human existence as we know it. And every day we delay, the cost of inaction increases,” Biden said. “So let this be the moment that we answer history’s call. Let this be the start of a decade of transformative action that preserves our planet and raises the quality of life for people everywhere.”