Policy & Regulation

30 Oct 2021

Biden Likely To Arrive Empty-Handed At COP26 Climate Summit

30 Oct 2021  by   

President Joe Biden will likely arrive at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow without a legislative agreement on climate change measures as Democrats in Congress have continuously failed to agree on a deal.

Reuters reported that Biden is scheduled to leave today, but he would first go to the House Democratic Caucus meeting in hopes that he might get a last-minute agreement on how to spend the money earmarked for fighting climate change.

"Of course he would like to head on this trip with a deal," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told the media, adding that despite this, world leaders would be more interested in President Biden making a commitment on infrastructure and the climate, whatever Congress does.

The Democrats' spending plan envisages some $500 million for climate change, which makes it quite a substantial portion of a total spending bill of some $1.5 trillion, Bloomberg reported earlier.

The measures in the spending plan on the climate include higher tax credits for renewable power, electric vehicles, and "advanced energy manufacturing", per the Bloomberg report. Financial support for investments in electric transmission, energy storage, and green jet fuel is also part of the climate change package debated in Congress.

"We are going to send the president to Glasgow with a strong provision," said Senator Ron Wyden, chairman of the Senate's tax-writing committee on Wednesday, as quoted by Bloomberg. "We are going to send the president there with a strong case." 

Time is quickly running out, however. A strong case may be what Biden takes with him to Glasgow, but formal measures will likely only become law—if agreed—after his return. News around COP26 has been quite disheartening lately, with doubts growing that world leaders would be able to agree on a concerted approach to tackling the challenges presented by climate change.

COP26 begins on Sunday in Glasgow, but the U.S. President is traveling today to Rome to attend a meeting of G20 leaders.

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