Wedge climate

Sergey Strokan

US President Joe Biden, who is struggling with his Western allies over the Afghanistan fiasco and the French submarine scandal, is determined to restore his shattered rating. A new chance to reaffirm US global leadership this fall will be his participation in two international forums at once – the G20 summit in Rome and the UN climate conference in Glasgow, at which a long-term strategy for reducing harmful emissions and combating global warming is to be adopted. “Climate diplomacy” is turning into the main area of international activity of the new US president, designed to help Washington make amends to the European partners offended by him.

Talk to Macron, Biden Crisis relations between Euro-Atlantic allies hit a tipping point on Wednes-day, when US President Joe Biden held a phone call announced late last week with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the conflict over the breakdown of a contract for the supply of French submarines to Australia.

The statements by Washington and Paris following the conversation show that the parties have taken the first step towards reconciliation. “The heads of the two states decided to begin in-depth consultations aimed at creating conditions that ensure trust and to propose concrete measures to achieve common goals,” the Elysee Palace said in a statement.

In turn, answering the question whether Joe Biden apologized for disrupting the arms “deal of the century”, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: “He admitted that the consultations could be more detailed.”

“The United States reaffirms that the presence of France and the European Union in the Indo-Pacific region is of strategic importance, in particular as part of the recently released European Union strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region,” reads a joint communique following the call. Another practical result was the agreement to hold a face-to-face meeting between the leaders of the United States and France, which will take place at the end of October, when Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron will take part in the G20 summit scheduled for October 30-31 in Rome.

The union of the twenty leading economies of the world, which, in addition to the United States and its Western allies, includes the BRICS states, as well as a number of countries in the Indo-Pacific region, will gather in the Italian capital for the 16th time in its history, but for Joe Biden, who took office in January this year, the “Rome twenty” will be its debut in the G20.

Let us recall that the G20 was created a decade and a half ago to unite the efforts of the economies of the Western and non-Western worlds in overcoming the consequences of the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. In the year of the Italian presidency, the G20 summit will meet under the motto “People, Planet, Development” and will be dedicated to combating the pandemic and its negative impact on the global economy, eliminating economic inequality between countries, preserving the climate, and solving the most pressing humanitarian problems.

Immediately after the G20 summit, Joe Biden will travel to Glasgow, where the UN Climate Change Conference will be held from November 1 to 12, which was canceled last year due to the pandemic.

The previous conference on global warming, held in 2019 in Madrid, ended in failure. The parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change were unable to agree on the text of the final communiqué at that time.

The bone of contention was the question of how to implement Article 6 of the Paris Climate Agreement, adopted in December 2015 and designed to regulate measures to reduce the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere from 2020. As a result, Madrid failed to agree on the creation of mechanisms for regulating greenhouse gas emissions provided for by Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. The stalemate arose largely due to the position of the previous US President Donald Trump, who considered global warming to be a “fiction” and openly ignored the talks on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, seeing them as an attempt to infringe on the interests of American industry.

President of the planetary scale

Meanwhile, from the first days of his tenure as head of the White House, Joe Biden began to actively promote the climate agenda, making it one of the priorities of his administration. So, back in April, he initiated a two-day summit of world leaders in the format of a video conference, timed to coincide with the Earth Day celebrated on April 22-23. In his speech at the Washington summit, he reaffirmed his readiness to deliver on his campaign promises to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 2005 and to achieve a carbon neutral economy in 2050. In addition, he promised to double the amount of financial assistance to developing countries in the framework of measures to combat climate change by 2024.

Four months after the W-ashington summit, the climate topic, which will be-come one of the key issues during his visits to the G20 summit in Rome and the UN conference in Glasgow, is gaining additional importance for Joe Biden.

In September, polls from leading sociological services indicated a record drop in his rating, which, according to Gallup, fell by as much as six percentage points in eight months after the inauguration – to 43%, reaching a historic low. According to a Gallup study, 53% of Americans disapprove of Joe Biden’s work as president.

As follows from another Harvard CAPS / Harris poll, the data of which are cited by the American edition of The Hill, for the first time after joining the White House, Joe Biden began to yield in popularity to his predecessor as head of the White House, Donald Trump. According to a Harvard CAPS / Harris study, 49% of Americans assess the incumbent’s activities negatively, while Donald Trump’s figure is 47%.

Following his first European trip in June this year, during which he completed a six-day diplomatic marathon at the G7, NATO and US-EU summits, and then met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, by now the new US president has largely squandered credit. trust in the eyes of Western allies.

The headline of his four-month-old article, “My Trip to Europe Is Designed to Bring America and World Democracies”, published this summer in The Washington Post, sounds like evil trolling following the fiasco in Afghanistan and the scandal with France and the EU. Biden’s actions as head of the White House turned out to be even more splitting world democracies than the activity of Donald Trump, and there was no trace of the euphoria over his election in Europe.

In this difficult situation for him, Joe Biden, who managed to quickly spoil relations with his allies, gets the opportunity to make a second attempt to unite the world, this time positioning himself as the leader of some kind of global campaign to save the entire planet.

At the same time, in the event of the resuscitation of the Paris climate agreement, which Donald Trump tried to bury, Joe Biden, apparently, will be able to neutralize the negative consequences of the submarine scandal.

Given that the topic of combating climate change is becoming the main focus of the US president’s international activity, Joe Biden developed a vigorous activity on the eve of his trip to Europe, holding an online summit on energy and climate at the end of last week.

In his speech at the summit, he painted an epic picture of the future battle to save the environment, in the very center of which he is. “I traveled around the United States and saw damage and destruction from record hurricanes, record floods and wildfires. The climate continues to change in Europe, Africa and Latin America, you have had to survive large-scale floods, fires are raging in Australia, the Amazon and the Russian tundra. In Siberia – I find it almost unbelievable – the temperature has risen to 118 degrees Fahre-nheit (about 48 degrees Celsius – “b” ), 118 degrees beyond the Arctic Circle, ”Joe Biden addressed the summit participants.

We must bring our highest ambitions to Glasgow. Those who have not yet done so are running out of time, ”Joe Biden called on the world community to take action to keep the warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius.

According to him, Washington expects to hold in the near future a face-to-face meeting of world leaders dedicated to overcoming the climate crisis, as well as a conference on clean energy and the problems of combating ocean pollution.

Thus, being not a very successful US president in the first year of his rule, Joe Biden gets used to the role of the informal “president of the planet”, promising in the fight against climate change “concrete actions in four key areas: energy, industry, land, ocean.”

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