Biden commits to communication with France after submarine spat

President Joe Biden acknowledged on Wednesday that his administration should have consulted with the French government before announcing a new trilateral security deal with the UK and Australia, which has seen Australia renege on a multi-million dollar submarine deal with France.

According to a joint statement issued by the White House describing a phone call between Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron, which the statement said came at Biden’s request, the two leaders agreed that the situation would have benefited from open consultations between allies on strategic matters. interest for France and our European partners. President Biden conveyed his continued commitment in this regard. ”

The statement also announced plans for Biden and Macron to meet in Europe in late October, as well as Macron’s decision to return the French ambassador to the United States, Philippe Etienne, to his post in Washington next week. The ambassador was summoned on Friday amid a diplomatic dispute.

“The two leaders decided to open an in-depth consultation process with the aim of creating the conditions to ensure trust and propose concrete measures to achieve common goals,” the statement said, adding that the Biden-Macron meeting scheduled for next month had as a goal “to reach common understandings and maintain momentum in this process.”

The conversation between the presidents of the United States and France seemed to mark a de-escalation in what was one of the most turbulent periods in the relationship between the United States and France in recent memory: the episode during which the United States’ oldest ally criticized publicly to the Biden government for not doing so. The Macron government sensitized Australia, the UK and the US to the US Nuclear Submarine Technology Exchange Association.

UNITED STATES: The world’s two largest economies and the biggest carbon polluters announced separate financial attacks on climate change on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila).

Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country will no longer finance coal-fired power plants abroad, surprising the world by the weather for the second year in a row at the United Nations General Assembly.

This came hours after US President Joe Biden announced the doubling of financial aid to poor countries so they can switch to cleaner energy and cope with the worsening effects of global warming.

Experts said this could kickstart major climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, in less than six weeks.

A precursor to the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord, a joint agreement between the United States and China launched successful negotiations. This time, suspicious of Sino-US relations, the two countries made their announcements separately, hours and thousands of miles apart.

Depending on when China’s new coal policy takes effect, it could shut down 47 planned power plants in 20 developing countries that use the fuel that emits the most greenhouse gases – roughly the same amount of coal energy as Germany, according to the European Union. E3G Climate Research Center.

“It’s a big problem,” said Joanna Lewis, an expert on China, energy and climate at Georgetown University. “China has been the only significant financier of coal abroad. This announcement essentially ends all public support for coal globally.” “This is the announcement that many have been waiting for.”

Byford Tsang, a policy analyst at E3G, said Japan and South Korea had already announced their exit from the coal finance business and that China was bigger than both.

Tsang cautioned that the one sentence line in Xi’s letter mentioning this new policy lacked details such as effective dates and whether it applies to public and private finances.

While this is a big step, Tsang said, it is not a death sentence for coal. He said that was because China added the same amount of new coal capacity domestically last year that it canceled abroad.

But Lewis said official data from China’s Ministry of Commerce showed no new foreign-funded coal plants in the first half of 2021, said Lewis of Georgetown University.

What really matters, Tsang said, is when China stops building new at-home coal plants and closes old ones. She said it would be part of a push at the G20 meetings in Italy next month.