This story is part of Choosing Earth, a series that chronicles the impact of climate change and explores what’s being done about the problem.

President Joe Biden made a flying go to to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Friday to attend the world’s most essential¬†climate talks: COP 27.

With the impacts of the local weather change being felt extra keenly than ever by means of disruptive and damaging climate occasions, the COP27 summit is a chance for the world’s main voices on local weather to assemble and make joint choices about tips on how to sort out this human-made world disaster. The impacts of those choices can be felt the world over — from the brand new jobs which can be created in renewable vitality, to fewer adverse well being impacts and extra financial stability. No less than, that is the concept.

Biden missed the world leaders summit portion of the talks — the bit he would normally attend — in the beginning of the summit as a result of US midterm elections earlier this week. However he flew in on his technique to Asia, the place he’ll attend the G20 summit, amongst different engagements. It was a quick journey, however an essential one.¬†

The US is the best historic emitter of any nation on the earth, and its file on local weather motion is much from flawless. Final 12 months, President Biden attended COP26 with a number of apologizing to do to his fellow leaders after his predecessor Donald Trump pulled out of the climate-focused Paris Settlement, which he instantly rejoined when he took workplace. This 12 months, he’s again to show that he meant it when he mentioned the US is dedicated to tackling the local weather disaster.

Here is what it’s essential learn about his temporary few hours in Egypt.

Biden met with the Egyptian president

One of many issues Biden made time for whereas he was in Sharm el-Sheikh was a gathering with Egypt’s president, Abdel-Fatteh el-Sisi. They talked about quite a few topics, together with the US-Egypt strategic partnership and their protection partnership.

Based on a press briefing on the assembly, Biden “raised the significance of human rights and respect for elementary freedoms” with el-Sisi. This obscure description of their dialog could come as a disappointment to those that had been hoping Biden would possibly take the chance to name upon el-Sisi to launch certainly one of Egypt’s most well-known political prisoners, Alaa Abdel-Fattah.¬†

Earlier this week, the leaders of the UK, France and Germany requested el-Sisi to launch Abdel-Fattah, a twin British-Egyptian citizen who’s in jail for sharing a Fb put up and is on a meals and water strike. Activists had been hoping Biden would possibly succeed the place the others failed, however that seems to not be the case.

As a substitute, throughout his speech shortly after the assembly, Biden introduced that the US, together with Germany, is investing $250 million in assets to unlock Egypt’s clear vitality potential.

His go to was the topic of a number of protests

Even earlier than he arrived at COP27, activists took goal at Biden. On Friday morning, Fridays For Future, the youth group most carefully related to Greta Thunberg, held a local weather strike calling out the US for spending cash on African fossil fuels.

Later that very same day, Biden came face to face with protesters who chanted at him about paying up for loss and harm — that’s, compensation for the victims of the local weather disaster dwelling in essentially the most susceptible international locations.

Even when he was talking, protesters managed to interrupt his speech — though he appeared unfazed. Afterward, activists expressed their disappointment that he did not point out loss and harm, which is among the most high-profile points at COP27, in his speech.

He known as out Russia for making issues worse

One difficulty that did come up in Biden’s speech was the topic of Russia, which has been part of many conversations at COP27 this week.

Biden linked Russia’s warfare in Ukraine with meals shortages and spikes in vitality costs the world over. He made the purpose that Russia’s warfare solely enhances the urgency of the necessity to double down on local weather commitments and transition the world off its dependence on fossil fuels.

“True vitality safety means each nation … is benefiting from a clear, diversified vitality future,” Biden mentioned. “No motion will be taken and not using a nation understanding that it might probably’t use vitality as a weapon and maintain the worldwide financial system hostage. It should cease.”

He positioned the US as a local weather ally

Biden acknowledges that the US hasn’t at all times lived as much as its tasks in the case of taking part in its half within the world effort to combat the local weather disaster. He additionally desires to alter that.

“Nations which can be ready to assist must be supporting creating international locations to allow them to make decisive local weather choices, facilitating their vitality transitions, constructing a path to prosperity and suitable with our local weather crucial,” he mentioned.

The US has introduced quite a few initiatives over the course of COP27 to supply worldwide help amid local weather change. These embrace investing in resilience to supply susceptible international locations with early warning programs to assist predict excessive climate occasions. He additionally emphasised the US function in chairing the Forests and Local weather Partnership, which is a part of a wider push by Biden’s administration to lean into nature-based solutions to local weather change.

“The very best half is we do not have to develop any new applied sciences,” he mentioned. “We simply must clarify forests are extra useful once they’re preserved than once they’re destroyed. It is that primary.”

2022 has been an excellent 12 months for US local weather progress

In addition to rejoining the Paris Settlement, Biden has made local weather central to every thing his administration does, and quite a few breakthroughs have occurred over the previous couple of years.

At COP27 he talked about making a generational funding within the nation’s infrastructure to permit the facility grid to switch extra inexperienced vitality. He additionally talked up investments in transit, rail and 50,000 electrical automobile charging stations nationwide. He cited the Inflation Reduction Act, which he described as “the largest, most essential local weather invoice within the historical past of our nation.”

“It contains lower than I requested for, however a major quantity: $368 billion to help clear electrical energy,” he mentioned. The Division of Vitality estimates the regulation will cut back US emissions by about 1 billion tons by 2030.

Biden additionally took the chance to speak about one thing launched solely the day previous to his journey. All main federal suppliers should now disclose their emissions and local weather dangers and set targets for themselves which can be aligned with the Paris Settlement, he mentioned.

“Because of the actions we have taken, I can stand right here as president of the USA of America and say with confidence: The USA of America will meet our emissions targets by 2030,” he mentioned.



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