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Biden urges countries to join pledge to reduce methane emissions in climate fight By Reuters


By Jeff Mason and Alexandra Alper

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden urged world leaders on Friday to join the United States and the European Union in a pledge to cut methane emissions to help build momentum ahead of an international summit on climate change later this year.

Biden held a virtual meeting of the Major Economies Forum (MEF) in a follow-up to an Earth Day meeting he hosted in April to unveil new U.S. greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and press other countries to do more to curb theirs.

Biden is committed to combating climate change. From Oct. 31 through Nov. 12, the U.N.COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow is seen as an opportunity for other countries to make more commitments to reduce rising temperatures.

President Biden called upon other nations Friday to agree to a deal between the United States, EU and reduce methane emissions to at least 30% below their 2020 level by 2030.

Biden said to leaders, “This will reduce rapidly the rate of global heating but… it will also produce side benefits like improving public health or agricultural output.”

Biden declared that the group goal was ambitious and achievable. “We urge you all to support us by pledging this at COP26.”

Leaders from Argentina, Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, Britain, and the European Union took part, along with United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, according to the White House.

This is a lower number than at the April summit which featured remarks by China’s President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Biden indicated that he wants to make the MEF a part of other climate change forums. John Kerry’s team, along with Biden, has been pushing countries to agree to ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in an effort to bring down global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Biden stated that no matter what commitments are made at COP26 we all must resolve to strengthen our ambitions and take action together to maintain a temperature of 1.5 degrees below pre-industrial levels.

Biden in April announced a new goal to cut U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases by 50-52% between 2005 and 2030. In the aftermath of the recent floods and wildfires in America, Biden repeatedly stressed climate change.

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