Sunday, September 25, 2022

Biden, world leaders are trying to take the next step on climate

By Ellen Knickmeyer and Matthew Daly

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden, along with a small group of other world leaders, on Friday sought to take swift action against climate change and announced a new U.S.-European pledge to reduce climate-destroying methane leaks.

Extremely embarrassing results from scientists this year show that the Earth has come close to the point where the level of climate damage caused by the burning of oil, gas and coal becomes catastrophic and represents an unchangeable “code red for humanity,” Biden said at the start of the session.

“We have to work, and we have to work now,” Biden said, speaking at a specially built White House set that showed a virtual array of solar panels in the background and a wall of other world leaders heard on the screen.

Biden, otherwise publicly in private talks, praised a new U.S. agreement with the European Union aimed at reducing the two companies’ methane emissions by 30% by the end of this decade. Methane, a major component of natural gas, is one of the most powerful agents of climate damage, rising from tons of unused oil and gas rigs, fragments of natural gas pipelines and other oil and gas facilities.

Biden feared “damage and destruction” in the United States, widespread flooding in Europe and other global damage from warmer climates. He mentioned his trip to California earlier this month, where firefighters have been battling larger, more severe and deadly wildfires for almost a year, with rising temperatures and droughts, and in the northeastern United States and Gulf Coast, where Hurricane Ida and its floods Many people have died Climate change has increased the number and severity of natural disasters.

Speaking at Biden Friday, California firefighters were trying to prevent a few thousand-year-old sequoias and high altitudes from reaching.

The White House gave Friday’s meeting an opportunity for world leaders to discuss how climate-destroying petroleum and coal emissions could be quickly and rapidly reduced. As an important forum for international climate discussion, the administration is trying to re-establish a major economic forum in the United States যা a climate group founded by former President Barack Obama and revived by Biden.

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Friday’s meeting, after a large and splatter meeting of the White House’s climate conference in April, found that the number of heads of government – allies and rivals – and large economies and small ones – spoke extensively about the need to work against climate change.

The list provided by Friday’s participants included only a dozen leaders: Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, the European Commission, the European Council, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United Nations.

China, India and Russia, along with the United States, are the countries that emit the most climate-harmful gases from oil, natural gas and coal production and combustion.

There was no talk of their leaders taking part. However, the White House said in a statement that Biden had instructed his climate envoy, John Kerry, to then lead a ministerial-level climate session with China, Germany, India and Russia. It did not provide any other immediate details.

Climate advocates have stressed the importance of US coordination with Europe and Asia to unite China, which emits climate-less fumes than other developed worlds, so that the use of dirty burning coal can be cut faster. -Especially power plants.

Fred Krupp, president of the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund, says reducing methane pollution is the single fastest, most effective strategy to slow the warming rate. A 30% reduction in methane pollution should only be “the point of entry into this critical conversation. Many countries can and should set higher goals,” he said.

Although methane is about 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, it has been in the air for nearly a decade, which means that methane does not achieve rapid climate action by reducing mission emissions.

The US-EU commitment comes as the US Environmental Protection Agency prepares to propose tougher rules against methane emissions for the oil and gas sector, as outlined in Biden’s first executive order.

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The new rules, expected in the next two weeks, are likely to be stricter than the standards of the 2016 Obama era. Obama’s standards were restored in June after Congress took unusual steps to invalidate the Trump-era EPA rollback of methane protection. .

The pending EPA rules are expected to limit the transfer of methane from new and existing wells, including several thousand old wells that are not under federal control under current law.

After President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, Biden sought to make the United States a leader again in global climate efforts. At the April summit, Biden promised to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from 50% to 55% by 20 green0. Much of that promise depends heavily on the passage of the r. 5 trillion budget bill, which includes tax incentives and other fossil cutting policies, fuel pollution in the power sector. Only democratic law faces ups and downs in Congress.

Biden is seeking significant investment in climate-friendly systems such as charging stations for electric vehicles outside of Congress in the face of objections from Republicans and some Democrats.

After Friday’s session, another closed-door session of world leaders will be held from closed5 to world0, to be hosted by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday morning.

The private sessions seek to ensure that world leaders come to the UN climate session with a commitment to important new steps to slow climate change. Biden and others have billed the climate conference in Glasgow as a last chance to pledge to reduce the use of fossil fuels fast enough to prevent a worsening global warming situation.

“We need to bring our highest possible ambitions to Glasgow,” Biden said. “For those who haven’t done it yet, their time is running out.”


Nickmeyer reports from Oklahoma City.

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