Biden will lead major economies to push for more urgent climate action

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FILE PHOTO: US President Joe Biden speaks as he attends the signing into law of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022, which will level the playing field for US exporters and importers, including farmers, and reduce costs for U.S. consumers by lowering the cost of shipping, at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 16, 2022. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

WASHINGTON, June 17 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday will urge China and other major economies to step up efforts to fight climate change by cutting methane emissions, adopting ambitious targets for zero-emission vehicles and cleaning up shipping.

At the third Major Economies Forum (MEF) virtual gathering under his presidency, Biden will also call on countries to spend $90 billion to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies and develop new fertilizers that reduce agricultural emissions and enhance safety. food, the US official said. officials told reporters.

Friday’s meeting will be the largest gathering of world leaders on climate change ahead of November’s global climate conference known as COP27 to be held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

The White House said Biden and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi would announce a joint effort to build climate resilience in Africa, while other countries were expected to join several initiatives to reduce emissions.

The countries that make up the MEF account for approximately 80% of global economic output and global greenhouse gas emissions.

Several countries were due to announce new emissions targets for 2030 under the Paris climate accord, the White House said, but did not name them.

The rally comes at a critical time, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine having driven up energy prices and exposing Europe’s huge dependence on Russia for around 40% of the natural gas used to heat its homes and generate electricity.

The war in Ukraine has underscored the importance of decarbonizing transportation, rethinking fertilizers and improving energy security, a senior U.S. official has said.

“It’s … shown a very bright light on where the solutions lie and what it takes to get there,” the official said.

Officials said the United States and other major gas producers and consumers would launch a “global methane energy pathway” that would provide new technical and financial resources to mitigate methane in the oil and gas sector, while striving to eliminate routine gas flaring no later than 2030. .

Washington planned to spend $21.5 billion on large-scale demonstration projects to achieve net-zero emissions and would urge other countries to contribute to reach the total $90 billion in estimated investment needs, the official said. one of the managers.

Biden, who signed an executive order last year mandating that half of all light-duty vehicles sold in the United States be zero emissions by 2030, would call on other leaders to meet that goal, officials said.

The United States and Norway would also launch a Green Shipping Challenge for COP27 to encourage governments, ports and cargo owners to come up with concrete steps toward full decarbonization no later than 2050, they said. declared.

Finally, Biden would address the “devastating effect” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the global food system and set a goal to raise $100 million in new funding for alternative fertilizer development by COP27, the White House said.

Also attending the forum will be leaders from Argentina, Australia, Chile, Canada, European Union, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Norway, Nigeria , South Korea, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Great Britain, Vietnam and France. , the White House said.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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