The administration is closing in on deals with some close allies, but agreements with powers like China, Brazil and India are proving difficult.

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is nearing agreements with Japan, Korea and Canada to bolster carbon emission reduction targets in all four countries ahead of a closely watched summit of global leaders on Earth Day, April 22.

But in the latest sign of how difficult it will be for President Biden to make climate change a core part of his foreign policy, similar deals with China, India and Brazil, economic powerhouses that together produce more than a third of global emissions, remain elusive.

John Kerry, Mr. Biden’s global climate envoy, is preparing to make a last-minute trip to China and South Korea ahead of the summit, which Mr. Biden will be hosting. Mr. Kerry arrives on Wednesday, with multiple high-level meetings in Shanghai expected on Thursday. The cooperation of the world’s largest emitter of climate-changing pollution is vital to slowing down global warming, but Beijing is also Washington’s biggest rival on the world stage.

With Brazil, the Biden administration’s efforts to negotiate an Amazon rainforest protection plan with Brazil’s conservative president, Jair Bolsonaro, have bitterly divided environmental advocates, given the Bolsonaro administration’s dismal environmental record.

And in India, where Mr. Kerry recently wrapped up three days of negotiations that did not yield any specific promise to strengthen New Delhi’s climate ambition, the administration must weigh its need for cooperation with its concerns over human rights. Indian leaders, meantime, have been unsettled by pressure to deliver an announcement in time for Mr. Biden’s summit next week after spending the past four years working with a U.S. administration that abandoned the rest of the world’s efforts to tackle global warming.

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April 14, 2021 at 01:37AM