US, China, Russia join Asia summit amid regional disputes
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — President Joe Biden and China’s Premier Li Keqiang will join an annual summit of 18 Asia-Pacific nations by video Wednesday in a region where the world powers have dueled over trade, Taiwan, democracy, human rights and Beijing’s increasingly assertive actions in disputed territories. Russian President Vladimir Putin will also speak at the East Asia Summit, a wide-ranging forum on political, security and economic issues organized by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — President Joe Biden was swinging the focus of his battle for fast, concerted action against global warming from the U.S. Congress to the world on Monday, appealing to global leaders at a U.N. summit to commit to the kind of big climate measures that he is still working to nail down at home.
Speaking to world leaders at the newly opened climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Biden planned to tote up his not-yet year-old's administrations climate efforts and announce new climate initiatives, including billions of dollars in hoped-for legislation to help poorer communities abroad deal with climate damage already underway.
John Kerry Is Bringing America Back Into the Climate Fight
John Kerry Is Bringing America Back Into the Climate FightAs tourists on the other side of the patio snap photos of Mount Vesuvius looming in the background, Kerry is warning about the fate of human life on earth. Kerry, 77, has been on the public stage for decades as a Senator, presidential candidate and U.S. Secretary of State and, on paper, his latest role representing the U.S. as President Biden’s climate envoy may look like a demotion. But Kerry rejects any question about why he’s taken this role. The fate of civilization is on the line, and he will do anything he can to help. “I’ve fought around war and peace, and that was life and death.
Wading back into hands-on diplomacy with allies overseas this week after the withdrawal of the Trump administration, Biden on the eve of his climate summit arrival touted “the power of America showing up."
The Glasgow summit is often billed as essential to putting the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord into action.
But Biden and his administration face obstacles in prodding the United States and other nations to act fast enough on climate, abroad as at home. In the runup to the summit, the administration has tried hard to temper expectations that two weeks of talks involving more than 100 world leaders will produce major breakthroughs on cutting climate-damaging emissions.
Ex-UN climate chief doesn't see Paris-type moment in Glasgow
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Christiana Figueres knows how to hammer out a climate deal, and she doesn’t expect the United Nations conference that just started in Glasgow to end with the kind of big moment she engineered in Paris six years ago. But she remains optimistic, saying failure “is not going to happen here.” Figueres, the former executive secretary of the U.N.'s climate change program, was a key architect behind the historic 2015 Paris climate agreement. She says the negotiations leading to the two-week conference in Scotland have not progressed enough to reach the U.N.
Rather than a quick fix, “Glasgow is the beginning of this decade race, if you will,” Biden's climate envoy, John Kerry, told reporters Sunday.
As the summit opens, the United States is still struggling to get some of the world's biggest climate polluters — China, Russia and India — to join the U.S. and its allies in stronger pledges to burn far less coal, gas and oil and to move to cleaner energy.
Kerry on Sunday defended the outcome of a summit of the Group of 20 leading economies that ended earlier that day in Rome. The G-20 meeting was supposed to create momentum for more climate progress in Glasgow, and leaders at the Italy summit did agree on a series of measures, including formalizing a pledge to cut off international subsidies for dirty-burning, coal-fired power plants.
The Latest: COP26 delegates face big lines as leaders arrive
The Latest on U.N. climate summit COP26 in Glasgow: GLASGOW, Scotland — Scores of world leaders are being welcomed to Glasgow for a climate conference amid gloom over the meeting’s chances of agreeing to new measures to limit global warming. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed leaders one by one with elbow bumps and smiles Monday morning in front of a giant planet Earth on a blue background. The greetings were due to go on for hours, since more than 120 leaders are coming to Glasgow for the first two days of the 12-day summit.
Biden also lauded a separate U.S.-European Union steel agreement announced Sunday as a chance to curb imports of “dirty” Chinese steel forged by coal power. It's another step toward potentially using Western markets as leverage to persuade China, the world's top climate polluter, to ease up in its enthusiasm for coal power.
But G-20 leaders offered more vague pledges than commitments of firm action, saying they would seek carbon neutrality “by or around mid-century.”
Video: Some climate change impacts 'irreversible' now, says UN climate panel (The Independent)
Major polluters including China and Russia have made clear they had no immediate intention of following the U.S. and its European and Asian allies to zero out all fossil fuel pollution by 2050. Scientists say massive, fast cuts in fossil fuel pollution are essential to having any hope of keeping global warming at or below the limits set in the Paris climate accord.
The world currently is on track for a level of warming that would melt much of the planet’s ice, raise global sea levels and greatly increase the likelihood and intensity of extreme weather, experts say.
UK tells private sector it must invest big to save planet
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Britain called Wednesday for the world's financial industry to channel its vast funds towards greener investments to ensure that global efforts to curb global warming succeed. Treasury chief Rishi Sunak said that while the U.K. government is providing fresh financing to help poor countries cope with climate change, “public investment alone isn’t enough.” Speaking at the U.N. climate summit in the Scottish city of Glasgow, Sunak said U.K.
Biden told reporters Sunday night he personally found the outcome of the Rome summit “disappointing,” countering the positive assessments of his aides. And he put the blame on two rivals of the U.S.
“The disappointment relates to the fact that Russia, and ... not only Russia but China basically didn’t show up in terms of any commitments to deal with climate changes," Biden said.
The Biden administration on Monday released its strategy for turning talk into reality in transforming the U.S. into an entirely clean energy nation by 2050. The long-term plan, filed in compliance with the Paris agreement, lays out a United States increasingly running on wind, solar and other clean energy, Americans zipping around in electric vehicles and on mass transit, state-of-the-art technology and wide open spaces carefully preserved to soak up carbon dioxide from the air.
The Biden administration has succeeded, over 10 months of diplomacy leading up to the Glasgow summit, in helping win significant new climate pledges from allies. That includes persuading many foreign governments to set more ambitious targets for emissions cuts, promoting a global pledge to cut emissions of a potent climate harm, methane, and the promise from leading economies to end funding for coal energy abroad.
Climate march keeps up pressure on leaders at U.N. summit
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — The public pressure that helped spur more world action on global warming is due to be on full display outside the U.N. climate summit Saturday, when thousands of demonstrators are expected to march through the rainy grey streets of Glasgow to demand leaders move faster to cut fossil fuels that are wrecking the climate. Police helicopters buzzed over Glasgow early Saturday as authorities prepared for a second day of protests by climate activists. Scots are accustomed to inclement weather, and turnout for the march was expected to be strong despite stiff gusts and a drizzle that turned to cold rain.
European leaders make clear they are happy to see Biden and the U.S. back in the climate effort after his predecessor, Donald Trump, turned his back on the Paris accord and on allies in general. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen smiled at Biden throughout the announcement on Sunday's steel deal, calling him “dear Joe.”
Neither Russian President Vladimir Putin nor Chinese President Xi Jinping is attending the Glasgow summit, although they are sending senior officials. Their refusals, and India’s, to move substantially faster to cut their reliance on coal and petroleum threaten to frustrate hopes of reaching the target cuts set in the Paris climate accord.
China under Xi has firmed up commitments to cut emissions but at a slower pace than the U.S. has encouraged.
Biden comes to the international climate summit with the fate of his own climate package still uncertain in Congress. Objections from holdouts within Biden's own Democratic Party have compelled him to back away from one bill that would have prodded the United States' own move away from coal and natural gas and to cleaner energy for generating electricity.
Hundreds of billions of dollars of climate measures remain in Biden's package before Congress, however.
“The largest investment in the history of the world” on climate, Biden told reporters Sunday. “And it's gonna pass.”
While an opening ceremony in Glasgow on Sunday formally kicked off the climate talks, the more anticipated launch comes Monday, when Biden and other leaders gather to lay out their countries’ efforts to curb emissions and deal with the mounting damage from climate change.
Biden will also participate in a climate event on “action and solidarity” Monday and meet on the sidelines of the summit with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
Miller reported from Rome.
Obama appeals to young activists to stay in climate fight .
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — At 19, Glasgow college student Ross Hamilton doesn't think highly of world leaders — “they chat a lot of” nonsense — or expect them to accomplish anything on a problem he cares deeply about, climate change. But there is one former world leader Hamilton trusts, at least enough to join several hundred Glasgow college students crowding outside their college in the dark Monday in hopes of a glimpse of him: Barack Obama. “I've always liked him. I feel as if he's pretty honest."The former U.S. president, one of the leaders responsible for the 2015 Paris climate accord, came to the U.N.