President Biden is attending a global climate meeting in Egypt with a gigantic domestic investment – and is likely to face questions about how far the United States will go to pull other large greenhouse gas emitters with it.
His participation on Friday at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP27, at the Sharm el-Sheikh Resort in Egypt, is the first stop on his tour around the world, which will also take him to a Southeast Asian leadership meeting in Cambodia and a Group of 20 leaders’ summit meeting the world’s largest economies in Bali, Indonesia.
Immediately after arriving in Egypt, Biden met with the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Through an interpreter, el-Sisi welcomed Mr. Biden and said that since the American media was present, he would like to talk about general issues in the Middle East. “Human rights are at the center of the debate,” said el-Sisi, claiming that the Egyptians took a “comprehensive approach” to human rights by creating a national human rights academy.
Mr. Biden thanked the President of Egypt for his cooperation on climate change and for organizing the summit. Mr. Biden also thanked el-Sisi for the “strong” attitude of Egypt towards the UN regarding the Russian war in Ukraine. Mr. Biden said both leaders would talk about human rights.
The president of the United States came to Egypt under the influenceby the Democratic Party in Tuesday’s parliamentary elections, this year in Congress completed the largest climate investment in US history and the Russian military defeat on the Ukrainian battlefield.
At the climate conference, Mr Biden will discuss a new additional rule coming Friday that will tackle methane emissions, a measure that extends similar rules that his administration released last year.
The 2021 rule dealt with methane emissions – a potent greenhouse gas that contributes significantly to global warming – from existing oil and gas wells across the country, rather than focusing only on new wells, as was the case in previous EPA regulations. However, this year’s rule goes a step further and covers all drilling sites, including smaller wells that emit less than 3 tonnes (2.7 metric tons) of methane per year.
It will also highlight one of its key national successes – the massive Democrats’ Healthcare and Climate Change Bill, known as.
The U.S. commitment of approximately $ 375 billion over a decade to tackle climate change gives Biden greater pressure to put pressure on other nations to live up to their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and shift the global economy to cleaner energy sources.
The president will be in a very different situation from last year’s rally which took place during a particularly unfortunate stage along the winding road to pass the bill.
The summit resulted in additional global commitments to meet the temperature targets agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement, which Biden joined after his predecessor, Donald Trump, withdrew the United States from the deal.
In his comments, Mr Biden will also make the argument that “good climate policy is good economic policy”, while calling on all major emitting countries to “align their ambitions” with the international goal of limiting future global warming to 1.5 degrees. Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the White House.
But even with these new efforts, America and the world have a long way to go to meet the emissions targets that scientists hope will stop global warming. And the political will to increase investment – as the world economy faces new difficulties – diminishes.
Speaking at Wednesday’s COP27 summit, former US vice president and climate activist Al Gore called Biden “the climate hero in my book,” adding that “passing the inflation reduction bill is the most important pro-climate legislation ever passed by any nation.” throughout history ”.
It remains to be seen whether Mr Biden addresses the most important issue in the climate talks: loss and damage. This is the language of international negotiation asking rich countries such as the United States, the most historically polluting country, to pay damages for the damage caused to poorer, vulnerable nations that do not emit much heat-trapping carbon dioxide.
In the past, the United States was even opposed to talking about it, but now it has softened its stance by agreeing to the topic under discussion. Special Envoy John Kerry even mentioned it in speeches. However, the United States does not want accountability to be part of any deal, and when it comes to paying, Congress and the public are reluctant to accept many kinds of climate aid – and it is the most controversial kind.
“I would like the US to say something constructive about loss and damage,” because that could raise an important issue, Princeton University professor of Climate and Global Affairs Michael Oppenheimer said.
The global desire to move away from fossil fuels was hampered by the turmoil in world energy markets following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At home and abroad, Biden is pressing oil and gas producers to increase production to meet demand and lower prices that financed the Kremlin’s war effort.
The prospects for a significant breakthrough are even more diminished as major issuers such as China and India send lower-ranking delegations. Biden administration officials tried to lower expectations of the outcome of the meeting and instead saw it as a return to US leadership on the issue.
Biden leaves Washington with votes still counting in key races that will determine control of both houses of Congress. Even so, the president felt the wind on his back as the Democrats did better than expected. He is likely to learn about the results of the races, which will strongly affect his ability to perform his duties in Washington while he was abroad.
While in Egypt, Biden will hold a bilateral meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, during which they are to discuss the strategic partnership of both nations, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and regional security issues.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told the Associated Press on Thursday that he understood Biden’s visit to Sharm el-Sheikh as “an indication of a political will to accelerate the process” in the fight against global warming.
“We hope that… it will resonate in the collective will of the negotiating groups to which the US is party, but also in creating the impetus for the conference to deliver what is expected,” he said.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Biden will also raise human rights issues when he meets El-Sisi, whose government has taken an authoritarian turn, and with other leaders during the trip.
“He doesn’t think you are an American president – you are not doing your job as an American president – unless you raise human rights,” Sullivan said. “You can expect this meeting to raise human rights issues, as with other leaders he meets at the G20.”
Sullivan said Biden and other senior officials would also advocate the release of imprisoned Egyptian democracy activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah, whose family told them prison officials told them he was undergoing undefined medical intervention during a hunger strike that escalated in the sunday.
After a brief stop in Egypt, the president will travel to Cambodia for the Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to bolster US engagement in the region in the face of China’s growing assertiveness.
And then, in Indonesia, the president is due to sit for the first time as president with newly empowered Chinese president Xi Jinping, who was awarded a violating third, five-year term as leader of the Chinese Communist Party during a national party congress. last month in the face of increasingly strained US-Chinese relations.
The White House has been working with Chinese officials for several weeks to arrange a meeting. Biden told reporters on Wednesday that he intended to discuss with Xi the growing tensions between Washington and Beijing over the autonomous island of Taiwan, trade policy, Beijing’s relationship with Russia, and more.
“What I want to do with him when we speak is to identify what our red lines are and understand what he believes is in China’s national critical interests, which I know are critical US interests.” Mr. Biden said. “And determine if they are in conflict with each other.”
Biden will also seek to demonstrate global determination to stand up to Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and meet two key new partners in efforts to support Ukraine’s defense: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. President Vladimir Putin announced on Thursday that he was skipping meetings to avoid a potentially awkward meeting. Sullivan said the president has no plans to interact with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who will be present in Putin’s place.
In Cambodia, Biden will also discuss North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic programs in a tripartite meeting with South Korean and Japanese leaders.
Kim volunteered from Phnom Penh, Cambodia. AP authors Seth Borenstein of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and Chris Megerian and Aamer Madhani of Washington, contributed to this.
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