In a marked change of tone for U.S. leaders, President Joe Biden said at a U.N. summit Monday that the United States and our allies were largely responsible for climate change, and said actions taken this decade to contain global warming will be decisive in preventing future generations from suffering.
“None of us can escape the worst that is yet to come if we fail to seize this moment,” Biden declared.
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He also apologized for former President Donald Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement.
“I shouldn’t apologize, but I do apologize for the fact the United States, the last administration, pulled out of the Paris Accords and put us sort of behind the eight ball a little bit,” he said.
Biden went viral not only for his speeches, but also for appearing to fall asleep on video —
And supporters of Trump noted that Biden was related to the side of world leaders, when Trump had been in the front center when meeting —
Spot the difference …. pic.twitter.com/7zzvv4Y176
— Jewish Deplorable (@TrumpJew2) October 31, 2021
Outside of the U.S., Biden administration officials have scolded China for failing to curb pollution, as China’s efforts could be crucial in any success against climate change.
But the president is still trying to nail down his own climate investments with Congress.
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The summit is often billed as essential to putting into action the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord, which Biden rejoined after becoming president this year.
But Biden and his administration face obstacles in prodding the U.S. and other nations to act fast enough on climate, abroad as at home. In the runup to the climate summit, the administration has tried hard to temper expectations that two weeks of talks involving more than 100 world leaders will produce major breakthroughs.
Rather than a quick fix, “Glasgow is the beginning of this decade race, if you will,” Biden’s climate envoy, John Kerry, told reporters Sunday.
Biden arrived at the international climate summit with the fate of his own climate package still uncertain in Congress. Objections from holdouts within Biden’s own Democratic Party have compelled him to back away from one bill that would have prodded the United States’ own move away from coal and natural gas and to cleaner energy for generating electricity.
Hundreds of billions of dollars of climate measures remain in Biden’s massive spending package before Congress.
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Biden promised it would pass despite Democrat resistance.
“The largest investment in the history of the world” on climate, Biden told reporters Sunday. “And it’s gonna pass.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article