COP26: Biden praises US return to climate talks

US President Joe Biden speaks at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland on November 2, 2021. REUTERS - YVES HERMAN

Text by: RFI Follow

3 min


Fighting climate change is a moral and economic imperative,

 ” explained Joe Biden during a press conference at the summit of world leaders at COP26.

He lambasted China's empty chair policy.

Taking the opposite view of his predecessor Donald Trump, Joe Biden in Glasgow staged the return of the United States to international climate negotiations.


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We saw a lot of Joe Biden at COP26.

He had decided to take his time.

While other leaders only stayed a few hours there, like Emmanuel Macron, he stayed for two days.

He dozed a bit, it's true, during the opening session, but then he went through meetings and speaking out.

One way to prove that - physically - the United States is back in the multilateral game, analyzes our special envoy to Glasgow, 

Anthony Lattier.


 We are here.

We are here

, insisted Joe Biden at a press conference.

 And being there, we had a big impact on how the world views the United States and its leadership role.

And I think China made a big mistake by not coming. 


" I'm worried "

The issue of the day was methane: reducing these emissions by at least 30% by 2030 to slow down global warming is the significant commitment of more than 100 nations at COP26 on Tuesday.

Joe Biden welcomed this, recalling how important it was for decisions to be made at this climate summit - despite the glaring absence of some of the big emitters of this gas.

See also: COP26: more than 80 countries commit to reducing methane emissions by 30% by 2030


We have something to worry about. I am worried,

said Joe Biden. 

People of all nations of the world have new perspectives different from those that date from COP25. Not because of the heads of government in different countries, but suddenly people see things happening that they never thought they could happen: people are drowning in their basements in Queens, New York because of the floods and the storms. torrential rain ; more and more territories go up in smoke in the United States, equivalent to the state of New Jersey; they see hurricanes with winds up to 270 km / h; the waters are warming on the planet and you can observe all these phenomena around the world, and they say to themselves

 : "

wow, wow".


Diplomatic activism

Joe Biden supported the agreement to fight deforestation: more than a

hundred leaders have pledged

to protect these lungs of the planet which, along with the oceans, are essential in the fight against climate change because they absorb a large part of the CO2 released into the atmosphere.

And the American president even went so far as to apologize for the

withdrawal of the Paris agreement 

by his predecessor Donald Trump.

A diplomatic activism hailed by the other leaders present but which masks the difficulties of the American president to make adopt in Washington his massive plan of more than 500 billion dollars to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Joe Biden had hoped to bring him to Glasgow, but negotiations have still not resulted in the US Congress.

► See also: COP26: African leaders call for international solidarity


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