Joe Biden vows crackdown on methane

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Friday’s talks were overshadowed by a huge US contingent of Democratic Party politicians who celebrated their strong showing in the country’s midterm elections.


Before Biden’s arrival a congressional delegation of 10 led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a press conference to champion the passage earlier this year of a Biden-backed bill known as the Inflation Reduction Act that provides $US369 billion ($554 billion) to supporting clean energy initiatives.

“One thing you have to know is that we have left incrementalism in the dust,” said Pelosi at a press conference. “This is about transformation. We hope that this COP27 will be the threshold that we all cross to remove all doubt that we are, as a world, serious about saving the planet.”

But Mohamed Adow, a climate advocate and director of the think tank Africa Power Shift said that nearly a week into the fortnight-long climate conference the rich world was still shirking their responsibilities for climate vulnerable nations, and had failed to make significant progress in negotiations about providing finance for loss and damage caused by climate catastrophes in poorer nations.

Later Pelosi led the delegation on an unannounced visit to the Ukrainian pavilion where she sat for a few minutes chatting with a young Ukrainian climate activist called Victoria.

One member of the delegation, Gregory Meeks, chair of the powerful House Committee on Foreign Affairs told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that he was not yet willing to concede that Democrats had lost control of the House of Representatives after the midterm elections.


Meeks, who recently visited Australia, Papua New Guinea and Palau to look at the impacts of climate change, said so far Republicans were maintaining a uniform opposition to climate measures passed by Democrats.

Congresswoman Cathy Castor, chair of the House Committee on the Climate Crisis said she believed fossil fuel companies had too much influence on the Republican Party, but that as impacts of climate change continued to increase, some members of the party would eventually support action.

“That change is going to have to come from the grassroots, and I think that is one reason why the election was so close – young people, gen Z and millennials turned out.”

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