Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies said on Oct. 31 that they would accelerate plans to implement climate-related policies, although they provided few details, as the Biden administration confirmed it sent about eight Cabinet members to a separate United Nations event in Scotland.
According to a communique issued by the G-20 leaders, including President Joe Biden, during the Rome summit, they reaffirmed past commitments by wealthier countries to mobilize $100 billion annually to help poorer countries by scaling up climate financing.
The statement from the leaders also said they would “accelerate our actions across mitigation, adaptation, and finance” of “global net-zero greenhouse gas emissions” by 2050. They didn’t elaborate.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Michael Regan, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator Rick Spinrad, and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Eric Lander are slated to attend a separate U.N. event in Glasgow, Scotland, this week, the White House confirmed to news outlets.
White House climate advisers John Kerry and Gina McCarthy also will attend, the administration said. Officials at the White House didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.
Congressional Republicans criticized the move to send the Cabinet members to Glasgow amid concern about supply-chain issues, slowing economic growth, and the COVID-19 pandemic on Oct. 31.
“The policy priorities of the Biden administration are far out of step with those of the American people. While the president and almost half of his Cabinet are soaring off to Scotland, most Americans would like to see a plan to deal with soaring inflation and skyrocketing energy costs,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) told Fox News.
“We learned this week that the economy is limping along at 2 percent GDP growth. President Biden needs to train his focus on Americans struggling here at home.”
Domestically, recent polls suggest that a majority of Americans believe that U.S. economic growth is more important than climate-related policies. Over the summer, the Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 71 percent of those surveyed said he should emphasize economic growth, while 46 percent said “climate change” should have a high priority.
In Rome, one of the few specific calls to action was issued by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who said coal should be increasingly phased out around the world.
“We must accelerate the phasing-out of coal and invest more in renewable energy,” he told reporters at the Oct. 31 event. “We also need to make sure that we use available resources wisely, which means that we should become able to adapt our technologies and also our lifestyles to this new world.”
Biden also met early on Oct. 31 with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan amid worsening relations between the United States and Turkey over the conflict in Syria as well as Ankara’s purchases of Russian weapons.
Biden “reaffirmed our defense partnership and Turkey’s importance as a NATO ally, but noted U.S. concerns over Turkey’s possession of the Russian S-400 missile system,” according to a statement issued by the White House.