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President Biden leaves Washington on Thursday to attend two major summits with world leaders in Rome and Glasgow, the second overseas trip of his presidency.
Here’s what’s on the program:
Friday October 29: visit to the Vatican
Biden, who is the country’s second Catholic president, will meet with Pope Francis. The White House has said Biden is keen to discuss climate, migration and income inequality with the Pope – three issues that feature high on Biden’s political agenda.
Biden will hold a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, host of the G-20 summit.
Next, Biden will sit down with French President Emmanuel Macron. This will be their first face-to-face since the unusually acrimonious and public battle over a defense deal between the United States and Australia that caused France to lose a lucrative submarine contract. .
# COP26 in Glasgow is called upon to provide effective responses to the unprecedented ecological crisis and the crisis of values that we are currently experiencing, and thus to offer concrete hope to future generations. Let us accompany her with our spiritual closeness. # Faiths4COP26
– Pope Francis (@Pontifex) October 4, 2021
Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 October: G-20 summit
Two issues that have risen to the top of Biden’s agenda for meetings with the world’s 20 largest economies are soaring energy prices and snags in global supply chains. He wants leaders to approve a global minimum tax of 15% for businesses around the world. He also plans to discuss an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a plan for rich countries to invest in infrastructure projects in developing countries around the world.
Biden will be holding one-on-one meetings on the sidelines of his trip with other leaders, although the White House has yet to release a list. Two leaders who will not be part of it: the Chinese Xi Jinping and the Russian Vladimir Poutine. Neither of them intends to attend the summits.
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Monday November 1 and Tuesday November 2: UN Climate Summit
Biden wants to help pull together pledges to reduce climate-changing carbon emissions – pledges made by leaders at a similar summit five years ago in Paris. The goal is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
Biden has pledged to halve U.S. emissions by 2030, from 2005 levels, and to help low-income countries with climate finance assistance. But he has struggled to get lawmakers from his own party in Congress – where they hold a very slim majority – to agree to legislation to keep his promise. He is expected to continue speaking with people from the progressive and moderate wings of his party until the summit begins, in the hope of reaching a compromise.