Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Biden heads to Europe for G20, COP26 summits

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The United States, U.S., President Joe Biden will embark on a five-day tour of Europe on Thursday to attend two crucial global summits, according to the White House.

The White House further said that Biden would first head to Italy for the G20 Summit, an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union, EU, and then to Scotland for the COP26 international climate conference.

Before that, Biden is scheduled to meet Pope Francis in Rome on Friday.

It will be followed by meetings with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

He would also meet with French President Emmanuel Macron later in the day.

On Saturday and Sunday, Biden would attend the key G20 events in Rome.

There would be several sessions covering the main elements of the international economy and international affairs.

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“On the margins of the Summit he will engage with key leaders on a range of issues of importance to the American people, including supply chain resilience, energy prices, the Iranian nuclear program, and more,’’ the White House said.

The COP26, or the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, would begin with the World Leaders Summit on Nov. 1, and 2 in Glasgow.

The COP26 would bring leaders together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

In Glasgow, the U.S. president would deliver a major speech on climate.

He would also have the opportunity to engage on the margins there on a range of important issues, including the Build Back Better World initiative B3W that the G7 announced at the summit in June.

In the past few weeks, the U.S. and the EU came together for joint action on COVID-19, launched a global methane pledge and other key climate initiatives, and launched a Trade and Technology Council to set the rules and standards for economics and technology in the future.

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“President Biden and key European partners will sit down at these two summits to coordinate policies on Iran, on supply chains, on global infrastructure efforts, and so much else,’’ National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said.

He pointed out that neither China nor Russia would be represented at the summit at the leader level, reportedly due to COVID-19.

“The U.S. and Europe will be there, and they’ll be there energised and united at both the G20 and COP26, driving the agenda, shaping the agenda as it relates to these significant international issues,’’ said Sullivan.

The top White House official said the trip was going to give the President an opportunity to advance some of his highest priorities on behalf of the U.S. people, such as global minimum tax, supply chains, and energy prices.

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Biden approaches COP26 with a commitment that the U.S. would reduce carbon emissions 50 to 52 per cent by 2030.

He also intends to address the short-term imbalance in supply and demand in the global energy picture so that the economic recovery in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world was reinforced, according to Sullivan.

COP26 required countries to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century.

First Lady Jill Biden would accompany Joe Biden in his second international trip since becoming President in January.

dpa-AFX/NAN

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