Biden calls for optimism at climate summit, even though there is “a reason people are worried”

“I am concerned that if we do not continue to move forward and make the kind of progress that we are making now, that…) exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius,” the president said. “But I am optimistic, because (…) the populations of each of our countries have a different point of view from the one they had at COP25.”

“All of a sudden people are seeing these things happening that they never would have imagined,” he added, also claiming that he could not think of two more days that had been spent to do in the face of climatic problems.

The president has repeatedly dug into leaders who decided not to attend the summit, called COP26, in person. He said “it was a problem” for China, Russia and Saudi Arabia not to go, but added that the presence of the United States was “having a profound impact on how the rest of the world. world considers the United States and its leadership role. ”

“I think this has been a big mistake for China,” Biden said, adding, “The rest of the world is going to look to China and say, ‘What added value are they bringing? And they’ve lost the ability to influence people around the world and all the people here at (COP26) – the same way, I would say, when it comes to Russia. ”

He pointed to the absence of China and Russia at the top, arguing that “it’s just a huge problem. And they’ve moved away.”

“How do you say you can exercise leadership now? ” He asked.

“(L) the fact that China (is trying) to assert, understandably, a new role in the world as a world leader – doesn’t come up? Come on. The most important thing that caught the eye of the world is the climate, ”Biden said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “has serious climate problems,” Biden said. “And he’s mom, on the will to do anything.”

But when Biden was asked why members of Congress considering his climate priorities should support him, when countries like China, Russia and India fail to meet their climate commitments or even show up, the president replied, “Because we want to be able to breathe and we want to be able to run the world.”

The president leaves Scotland on Tuesday evening and returns to Washington early Wednesday. He spent five days in Glasgow and Rome attending the previous Group of 20 meeting and the climate summit.

Biden spent much of his last day of his trip to Europe advocating for democracies to lead the way in tackling the climate crisis.

Biden’s Tuesday agenda and climate announcements

At a meeting on the sidelines of the summit regarding the climate aspects of his Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative, the president argued that the collective effort of Western countries to support infrastructure in the developing world is a chance to prove that democracy can still deliver.

The B3W program was announced in June during the G7. It aims to counter the Chinese Belt and Road initiative.

“We offer a positive alternative to debt traps and corruption. We can hold whole countries if we don’t. Transparency is of crucial importance. And by helping and responding to the needs of developing countries, rather than dictating projects remotely, we can deliver the greatest impact to those who need it most, ”said Biden. “We have to show – and I think we will show – that democracy is still the best way to get results.”

Biden said there is an “urgent need for infrastructure development in countries … that prioritizes tackling climate change from the moment the shovel goes into the ground and revives green economic growth.”

“By coming together to make a difference in the lives of people all over the world, you have to show – and I think we will show – that democracy remains the best way to get results,” he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Biden launched a new plan to conserve the world’s forests that aims to bring together diplomatic, economic and political tools to promote the preservation of forests around the world.

The issue of keeping important ecosystems alive is “an essential element in keeping our climate goals within reach,” the president said.

Biden cited the ability of forests to capture carbon and promote biodiversity as reasons to draw attention to the issue, in addition to reducing emissions.

“We need to approach this issue with the same seriousness as decarbonizing our economies. This is what we are doing in the United States,” Biden said.

The president also made brief remarks at an event to highlight the progress of the Global Methane Pledge and launched a new initiative to step up efforts to reduce methane, which he said were the “most important things we do. can do “to keep global temperatures under control.

Around 100 countries have signed a global commitment to reduce methane emissions by 30%, European Commission President Ursula von de Leyon announced on Tuesday.

Biden encouraged other countries to join the United States in their efforts.

“It’s not just something we need to do to protect the future of the environment. It’s a huge opportunity… for all of us, all of our nations, to create jobs and make meaningful climate goals one. essential part of our global economic recovery as well, ”he said.

The Biden administration is proposing new rules from a number of federal agencies to reduce methane emissions, which include an Environmental Protection Agency regulation that would push oil and gas companies to more accurately detect, monitor and repair methane leaks from new and existing wells, pipes and other equipment.

During a speech at an event aimed at “accelerating innovation and deployment of clean technologies,” the President announced the First Movers Coalition. Biden said the federal government would work with the coalition, which includes more than two dozen of the world’s largest companies in eight different sectors “which account for 30% of the global emissions we are currently facing.”

“These companies will be critical partners in pushing for commercially viable alternatives to decarbonize industrial cities, industrial sectors and more. And while championing American innovation in high-paying jobs, the US government is moving in the same direction. time to use our enormous market power, as the world’s largest buyer of goods and services (…) to do the same, “he said.

The aim of the coalition is to stimulate better products in the market, new businesses and new projects.

He said the United States is also launching a new partnership with the United Arab Emirates called the Agriculture Climate Innovation Mission. With 75 partners, the mission aims to “catalyze public and private investments in agriculture and food system innovation supported by climate”.

On Tuesday afternoon, Biden spoke briefly with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Biden “reinforced (the importance) of the US-Japan alliance and discussed regional and global issues,” the White House said. The President also met Prince Charles to discuss “the importance of global cooperation in the fight against climate change”.

“They stressed the need for ambitious commitments and concrete actions among partners around the world and discussed Prince Charles’ initiatives to engage the private sector on sustainability,” said a senior administration official.

CNN’s Kevin Liptak and Ella Nielsen contributed to this report.

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