Biden readying for a climate victory lap at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh – USA TODAY

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SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt – President Joe Biden’s drop-in at a global UN conference on climate change on Friday comes on the heels of the most momentous climate legislation in the nation’s history.

But his appearance at the COP27 is expected to be greeted with frustration on the part of many nations, who feel the U.S. has done too little, too late, to confront global warming. 

Biden is unlikely to be able to fulfill a promise to put $11 billion toward international climate aid by 2024 with Republicans expected to gain control of Congress.

His administration said this week that it is considering other ideas that have been floating around the summit to help low-income countries that are emitting fewer greenhouse gases but are projected to be hurt the most by global warming.

Ahead of Biden’s remarks Friday, the White House laid out a plan that includes doubling the United States’ pledge to the Adaptation Fund, which finances projects and programs in developing countries to help with effects of climate change. Biden will pledge $100 million to the fund, up from $50 million the United States promised last year.

The latest:

  • Where he’s headed: COP27, which is the annual United Nations meeting of the 197 countries that have agreed to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, originally adopted in 1992.
  • Why it’s important: The meeting is the decision-making body of the countries that signed onto the framework. It is held to assess how well nations are dealing with climate change.
  • How long he will be there: Biden will only spend a few hours in Sharm; he’s due to depart Friday for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) conference.
  • What else he is doing: Biden will meet with COP27 host and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi when he arrives.
  • On the U.S. agenda: Biden will discuss Russia’s war against Ukraine with el-Sisi and push the Egyptian leader to release political prisoners and enact human rights reforms, U.S. officials said.
  • Biden’s big moment: The main event will be Biden’s climate remarks. He’ll reiterate that America is on track to reduce it’s emissions in 2030 by 50%.
  • Who’s in his entourage: Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and EPA Administrator Michael Regan.
  • Methane emissions announcement:  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday an updated proposal to reduce methane emissions. EPA Administrator Michael Regan said Friday the proposal aims to reduce emissions and energy waste by 87% below 2005 levels.

What’s about to happen

Biden will deliver a speech touting the $370 billion for clean energy initiatives in Democrats’ climate and health spending law, known as the Inflation Reduction Act or IRA.

Climate spending in the bill is one of Biden’s marquee accomplishments as president, and the administration hopes to present the law, which funds credits for consumers who purchase electric vehicles and energy efficient home upgrades, as a model for public investment.

Climate watchers will be waiting to see what Biden says about “loss and damage financing,” or the notion that countries that are poorer and most vulnerable to climate change should get support and adaptation funding from wealthy nations that got rich by burning fossil fuels over the last 250 years as they industrialized.

Top takeaways

  • “With the IRA now on the books, the president will want to go and say, the U.S. is taking a leadership position on emissions reductions. What are other countries doing to to achieve their goals?” said Joseph Majkut, director of the energy security and climate change program at CSIS.
  •  Climate experts 
  • “I hope that his message will be that the world needs to remain strong on their pledges and that climate cooperation can be kind of a catalyst for addressing all these multiple crises that we’re dealing with right now, that really are just cascading from our broken relationship with nature,” Anne Christianson, director of International Climate Policy at the progressive Center for American Progress said.
  • U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said last month during a Chatham House forum that the U.S. has an obligation help countries “jumpstart” their green energy transition.
  • “But if it becomes just sort of liability, and compensation and reparation or something, that’s not going to advance the dialogue,” Kerry said.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed Republicans’ “disagreement” with her party on climate on Thursday in Sharm: “We have to get over that. I place my confidence in their children, who hopefully will teach their parents that this is urgent, long overdue.”

Why it matters

More than 33,000 delegates from more than 190 countries are attending the 13-day conference in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, known for its sandy beaches and coral reefs and a major tourist destination for divers.

Biden is the only leader of the world’s three biggest carbon-emitting nations who will be there. Neither President Xi Jinping of China nor Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India are attending.

The president is mulling a reelection bid, and the visit will help him demonstrate to climate activists, who are an important part of Biden’s base, that he is prioritizing emissions reduction efforts.