Biden and other leaders meet to discuss climate

US President Joe Biden attempted to outline next steps in tackling rapidly worsening global climate change in a private, virtual session with a small group of other world leaders on Friday and announced a new US-European commitment to reduce climate-damaging methane leaks.

The increasingly gloomy warnings from scientists this year that the world is approaching the point where the level of climate damage from the burning of oil, gas and coal will become catastrophic and irreversible “represent a code red for humanity” Mr. Biden said at the start of the session.

“We must act and we must act now,” Biden said.

The Biden government presented the meeting as an opportunity for some of the world’s leaders to strategize to achieve large and rapid reductions in climate-destroying oil and coal emissions. The government is also trying to restore the United States Major Economies Forum – a climate group created by President Barack Obama and revived by Mr. Biden – as an important forum for international climate negotiations.

Friday’s meeting followed a virtual White House climate summit in April, which saw dozens of government leaders – representing allies and rivals, and economies large and small – make sweeping speeches against the need to act against climate change.

Friday’s attendee list included just nine leaders: those from Argentina, Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, the UK and the European Council, Commission of European Union and United Nations.

China, India and Russia, along with the United States, are the nations that emit the most climate-damaging gases from the production and combustion of oil, natural gas, and coal, and participation of their leaders has not been announced.

Climate advocates have stressed the importance of the United States’ coordination with Europe and Asia for a united front to lobby China, which emits more climate-damaging fumes than the rest of the developed world combined. , to accelerate the reduction of its use of coal-fired power stations, in particular.

Mr Biden, at the public opening of the otherwise private talks, also discussed a new U.S. deal with the European Union to cut methane emissions from the two entities by nearly a third by end of this decade. Methane is a powerful agent of climate damage that escapes by the ton from countless oil and gas platforms, leaking gas pipelines and other facilities.

Friday’s session will be followed by another closed-door session of 35 to 40 world leaders, which will be chaired Monday morning by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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