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Boris Johnson to make first visit to White House to push for climate action ahead of COP26

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will visit President Joe Biden next week in a bid to drum up support ahead of the COP26 Summit on climate change.

Mr Johnson will travel to New York for a meeting at the UN on Monday, before travelling to Washington to meet Mr Biden at the White House for the first time for discussions on climate, COVID and international security.

It is hoped the meetings will help galvanise momentum in the lead up to COP26 – crunch climate talks the UK is hosting in Glasgow in November.

Speaking ahead of the visit, the prime minister said: “World leaders have a small window of time left to deliver on their climate commitments ahead of COP26.

“My message to those I meet this week will be clear: future generations will judge us based on what we achieve in the coming months.”

U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are greeted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson before posing for photos at the G-7 summit, in Carbis Bay, Britain, June 11, 2021. Patrick Semansky/Pool via REUTERS
Image: Mr Johnson and Mr Biden made a series of climate promises when they met at the G7 in Cornwall in June

While in New York Mr Johnson will make a speech at the UN General Assembly and meet a group of world leaders to discuss actions that can be taken to help mitigate the impact of global warming on developing countries.

Around 100 world leaders are confirmed to attend COP26, which represent a once in a generation opportunity to make progress to keep global warming below 1.5C.

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The prime minister’s trip to Washington is his first since Mr Biden took office.

He will also meet Vice President Kamala Harris and senior members of the US House of Representatives and Senate.

These discussions will be an important opportunity to build on the climate commitments made by leaders, including the Mr Johnson and Mr Biden, at the G7 Summit in Cornwall.

At the meeting in June, the G7 agreed to take action to tackle climate change and drive green growth around the world, including by mobilising $100 billion in climate finance and phasing out the use of coal internationally.

They will also discuss the situation in Afghanistan and how to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the region.

At a virtual meeting of G7 leaders, Mr Johnson, President Biden and other leaders agreed to work together on a collective international response.

This work will be bolstered by the UN Security Council Resolution, driven by the UK, US and France, which calls for urgent humanitarian access to Afghanistan.

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The UK has committed £286m in aid to Afghanistan this year.

Earlier this week the UK, US and Australia announced the formation of a new defence pact – AUKUS – to promote stability and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

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