Cop 27: US stepping up on climate, Biden says

  • Market: Coal, Crude oil, Electricity, Emissions, Natural gas, Oil products
  • 11/11/22

US president Joe Biden today urged global climate negotiators to step up their ambitions while proclaiming the country has returned to a leadership position on the climate stage.

Biden, speaking at the UN Cop 27 climate talks in Sharm el-Shiekh, Egypt, said the US has come back to the table in a big way to help avert a "climate hell," citing remarks made by UN secretary general Antonio Guterres earlier this week.

He pointed to a number of achievements in recent months, such as the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and ratification of a treaty to reduce hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), as progress toward his goal of re-establishing the US as "a trustworthy, committed, global leader on climate," following its exit from the Paris climate agreement under former president Donald Trump.

"As I stand here before you, we've taken enormous strides to achieve that," he said.

The legislation provides $369bn in funding for climate and clean energy policies, including the extension and expansion of tax incentives for renewable energy, carbon capture, biofuels and other efforts, as well as funds for nuclear power, clean energy manufacturers and electric vehicles. Independent analyses have found the measure would put the US on track for a 40pc reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, putting it close to Biden's pledge of a 50-52pc reduction from 2005 levels by that year.

"Thanks to the actions we've taken, I can stand here as president of the United States of America and say with confidence: The United States of America will meet our emissions targets by 2030," he said.

But at the same time, the US and the rest of the world need to do more to ensure the objectives of the Paris climate agreement are met, including keeping global temperatures from rising by more than 1.5° Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

"The United States is acting. Everyone has to act," he said. "That's the duty and responsibility of global leadership."

This includes helping developing countries adapt to climate change and transition away from fossil fuels while growing their economies.

"If countries can finance coal in developing countries, there is no reason why we can't finance clean energy" in developing nations, he said.

He also urged countries not to use ongoing economic and geopolitical difficulties, such as the Russia-Ukraine war, to sidetrack efforts.

"Against this backdrop, it's more urgent than ever that we double-down on our climate commitments," Biden said. "Russia's war only enhances the urgency of the need to transition the world off its dependence on fossil fuels."

Biden unveiled a number of new funding initiatives, while reaffirming his pledge to work with lawmakers to provide $11bn/yr in climate finance by 2024, including $3bn for adaptation. In addition. In addition, announced $20bn in funding for US methane reduction efforts and new US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations to reduce methane from the oil and gas sector.

On the finance front, Biden pledged a "down payment" of $150mn to support adaptation efforts throughout Africa, for which he has proposed providing a total of $2bn. Biden also said the US will double its commitment to the UN adaptation fund to $100mn.

But Biden acknowledged that it may be difficult to line up the money has requested, with Democrats potentially losing their majority in the House of Representatives after this week's elections and control of the Senate still up in the air.

"I'm going to fight to see that this and our other climate objectives are fully funded," he said.


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