President Joe Biden plans private climate talks with world leaders Friday to try to spur hard-and-fast commitments to cut climate-damaging pollution globally, following up on his livestreamed summit that saw dozens of leaders make earnest public promises to do so.
Friday’s session will be virtual, like April’s White House climate summit. It comes before next week’s meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, where climate efforts are expected to be in a spotlight. It’s also a prelude to a November U.N. climate summit that’s being billed as a last chance for the world to commit to cutting use of fossil fuels fast enough to stave off the worse scenarios of global warming.
A senior administration official described Friday’s session as a chance for international leaders in the Major Economies Forum — a climate-focused body started by President Barack Obama and revived by Biden — to talk over specific actions to cut emissions and to help finance emissions cuts by less wealthy countries.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to brief reporters, gave no details on which world leaders would take part Friday.
The intensifying global consultations on cutting emissions come as Biden himself is still pushing to get significant investment in climate-friendly measures like charging stations for electric vehicles past Republicans and some skeptical Democrats in Congress.
The international push to ratchet up the world’s efforts to curb worsening climate change was given fresh impetus by a spate of new science reports out of the United Nations showing an increasingly grim outlook.
Friday’s session will be followed by another closed-door session of 35 to 40 world leaders. It’s to be hosted Monday morning by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Knickmeyer reported from Oklahoma City.