Biden Presents Two Global Leadership Exams: COP26 and G20

Washington. He has offended or cooled the spirits of his allies, reduced his major reform projects, and he will not be able to confront Xi or Putin … Even so, Joe Biden intends to participate in the G20 and COP26 as the representative of a United States that wants to return. to the foreground.

The US president will fly to Italy on Thursday, where the summit of the 20 largest world economies takes place on Saturday and Sunday. It will then depart for the UK for the COP26 international climate conference.

Biden, who has sought to assume the role of “leader of the free world” abandoned by Donald Trump, and who presents himself as head of the democratic forces before the authoritarian powers – led by China – should lead those two events without much problem.

Indeed, neither Chinese President Xi Jinping – with whom Biden has only had telephone conversations since his election – nor Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel to the summits due to health concerns.

“Neither Russia nor China will be represented at the highest level” at the summits, while “the United States and Europe will be there, united and full of energy,” noted National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

At the G20, the US will not hesitate to assert its role as engine in the implementation of a minimum tax on companies in the world, and in the international distribution of vaccines. It also expects financial commitments from its partners in favor of poor countries and the energy transition.

In Glasgow he will defend, according to his National Security adviser, the idea that “there is no contradiction” between the fight against climate change and the search for economic prosperity. Washington does not want to present the energy transition as a coercion or a sacrifice, despite alarmist messages from the UN, repeated on Tuesday, about the “climate disaster” to come.

China-EU meeting

The head of the European Union’s ecological policy, Frans Timmermans, meets for the first time today with Xie Zhenhua, China’s top envoy for climate, ahead of the COP26 summit.

China’s commitment to reducing emissions faster this decade is seen as crucial for the planet to have a realistic chance of meeting the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. .

With Chinese President Xi Jinping not expected to attend, some climate watchers fear the world’s largest CO2 producer is not planning to unveil a new engagement at the United Nations event in Scotland.

Yet while Xi has not traveled outside of China since before the pandemic, he has made three major climate announcements on the international stage, including a promise, at the UN general assembly last month, to stop funding plants. of coal abroad.

At their meeting scheduled for Wednesday in London, Xie and Timmermans “will go over the latest developments and see what everyone’s situation is in these last days before COP26 officially begins.”

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