My1sttoday News — President Biden to meet with major economic powers on climate to launch new global initiatives.
The meeting, slated for Friday morning, will include 19 other countries, including China, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom and South Korea, senior officials told reporters on Thursday night. They will also be joined by the European Union.
China will be represented not by leader Xi Jinping, but by the country’s counterpart to U.S. climate envoy John Kerry, an official said.
The officials detailed announcements they would make — including a collective goal for countries to make 50 percent of new cars sold electric, a goal the U.S. has already set for itself.
As of Thursday night, it was unclear how many countries would join this initiative or any of the others announced.
The US and EU are expected to unveil an initiative that seeks to reduce releases of planet-warming methane from the oil and gas sector.
Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes 25 times as much to climate change as carbon dioxide over a 100 year period, but also spends less time in the atmosphere.
The new initiative specifically aims to eliminate routine flaring — a process where companies burn excess natural gas that’s a byproduct of oil production — by 2030.
Meanwhile, the officials also said that some countries will be updating their climate change pledges for 2030, though they didn’t specify which countries or how many.
President Biden will also encourage other countries to try to collectively reach $90 billion in government investments in developing climate friendly technologies. According to a fact sheet, the U.S.’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law already devotes $21.5 billion to the effort.
In addition, the U.S. and Norway will launch an effort aimed at encouraging emissions reductions from the shipping sector by 2050.
Biden is also trying to get countries to raise $100 million for fertilizer research to help with both food security and agricultural emissions.
The countries joining Biden’s meeting are major economic powers who together represent 80 percent of worldwide Gross Domestic Product, population and planet-warming emissions.
The meeting comes as the Biden administration seeks to reassert the U.S. as a global leader on climate change. Yet whether the U.S. will actually live up to its climate goals remains unclear as Congress has yet to reach a deal to pass Biden’s climate and social spending package.
It also comes following climate talks in Bonn, Germany. At the meeting, tensions flared between wealthier and poorer countries after the former wouldn’t agree to put compensation for damage caused by rich countries’ historic emissions on the agenda for this year’s global climate summit in Egypt.