US President Joe Biden waves as he boards Air Force One after attending the G20 summit in Rome on November 1.
US President Joe Biden waves as he boards Air Force One after attending the G20 summit in Rome on November 1. (Evan Vucci/AP)

President Joe Biden will deliver a “personal commitment” to combating climate change during remarks at the Glasgow COP26 summit on Monday.

In a speech at the conference, Biden will “talk about what the United States is prepared to do to fulfill its obligation, including the investments we’re making, the targets we intend to hit, both with respect to 2030 and 2050,” his national security adviser told reporters aboard Air Force One as Biden flew from Rome to Scotland.

Biden is expected to speak later on Monday morning. In his speech, Biden will “also talk about the progress that we have made this year and the momentum we have built, and then he will talk about the work that needs to be done,” Jake Sullivan said.

He’ll also convey his belief that it’s a false choice between progress on climate and delivering economic results.

“The right kind of strategy can and will deliver both,” Sullivan said, citing Biden’s pending legislative agenda that contains $555 billion in climate provisions.

His speech will seek to cajole other nations in taking their own bold steps toward combating climate change.

“The speech will be a clarion call, it will be a very strong statement of his personal commitment, of our country’s commitment, not just to do our part but to help lead the world in mobilizing and catalyzing the action necessary to achieve our goals,” Sullivan said.

Seeking to address the somewhat dampened expectations for the Glasgow summit by foreign leaders and others, Sullivan insisted the mood remained optimistic. He said setting a high bar was necessary to accomplish results.

“Anytime you head into a summit where you’re trying to hit very high ambition, there’s a certain motivation around ‘we’ve done some things, but we haven’t done enough’ as a kind of mindset. That’s not a bad thing, because I do think we want the whole world to feel the pressure to step up and do more,” he said.

He said Biden was eager to talk up his major spending bills with fellow world leaders, despite uncertainty on when they will pass Congress.

“What we have found over the course of this weekend is that world leaders are a sophisticated bunch. They well understand that legislative process takes time. Legislative texts needs finalizing, votes need to be cast, but there is a significant expectation that this can and will happen, and it can and will happen in the near term,” Sullivan added.

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