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Biden hosts a weather meeting amid high gas prices

WASHINGTON (AP) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who assimilated the oil and gas industry into big tobacco, said Friday that “fossil fuel producers and financiers are humane by the throat.” But President Joe Biden was not itching to quarrel.

Increasing fuel prices in both And a warming planet Biden, who weighs the world at the Energy and Climate Major Economy Forum, talked about trying to reduce the pain of high gas prices while pushing more long-term green policies.

To dismiss the idea of ​​increasing gasoline production, Top diplomats of the United Nations have dismissed traditional diplomatic policies and directly denounced the fossil fuel industry in a virtual session involving oil-rich Saudi Arabia, China, Europe and Egypt, which is hosting the next United Nations summit on climate change. This is the first time Gutierrez likened the energy industry to tobacco interests, saying he uses “the same scam tactics” to delay action for the betterment of people and the planet.

Biden reiterated his goal of reducing the record $ 5 gallons of gasoline in the US while moving away from fossil fuels to limit climate change and the risks it presents.

“I use every available lever to reduce prices for the American people,” Biden said. “But the crucial point is that these measures are part of our transition to a cleaner, safer and longer-term energy future.”

Biden is expected to visit Saudi Arabia Next month. The White House recently praised the empire after OPEC + announced it would pump more oil to boost global supply.

Gutierrez ruled out excessive drilling, saying that “there could be no more obvious or present than the risk of fossil fuel expansion.”

“Even in the short term, fossil fuels make no political or economic sense,” Gutierrez said.

“If we invested early and massively on renewable energy, we would never find ourselves again at the mercy of volatile fossil fuel markets,” Gutierrez said. “Let’s make sure that the war in Ukraine cannot be used to increase that dependence.”

A senior UN official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Secretary General had decided to increase rhetoric due to the industry’s successful attempts to use the war in Ukraine to begin drilling. For the agency.

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“It is very interesting to see the change in tone from the Secretary General. His language is more blunt than any of his former general secretary, ”said Niklas Hohne of the New Climate Institute in Germany. “This comes at a time when we are really eyeing the Goldrush for new fossil fuel infrastructure … Such an expansion is against climate policy because it locks the world into a greater greenhouse gas future.”

In a statement, the American Petroleum Institute says governments and industry need to work together: “With rising fuel costs and current geopolitical tensions around the world, it is increasingly important to ensure sustainable access to affordable, reliable energy while reducing emissions.” Wants, not less.

Biden’s priorities include cutting methane leaks and getting more zero-emissions vehicles On the roads.

Biden administration officials have demanded anonymity to discuss the event, saying they expect some countries to announce more ambitious climate targets as part of the landmark agreement reached in Paris in 2015.

In an Oval Office interview, Biden warned of climate change Thursday with the Associated Press.

“We’ve had more hurricanes and tornadoes and flooding,” he said. “What people saw – I took my kids to Yellowstone Park years ago. They call me, ‘Did you see what happened to Daddy Yellowstone, right?’ Well, this is unthinkable.

But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has scrambled Biden’s climate targets by increasing gas costs. Faced with political pressure to keep prices under control in the midterm election year, Democratic presidents have urged US oil refineries to produce more fuel because companies lack long-term incentives to do so because the administration is accelerating clean energy. .

“Well, I would say in the short term, do the right thing,” Biden said Thursday, emphasizing his view that energy companies should increase production rather than try to increase their profits.

When he pledges to make the United States once again the leader in cutting fossil fuel emissions to stem the global worst-case scenario, Biden comes to the summit with foreign leaders with climate ambitions and hopes announced at the start of his presidential term. Warming up. Republicans and some Democrats have since stalled, and all have killed Biden’s most ambitious climate legislation.

While Biden has been successful in securing funding to boost electric vehicles and some other climate measures, setbacks have focused on initiatives such as Biden’s voluntary pledges and Fridays, which can be easily abandoned or reversed by future leaders.

This leaves Gutierrez, who does not have Biden’s power or political limitations, aimed directly at the fossil fuel industry, saying he has “invested heavily in pseudoscience and public relations – with a false narrative to reduce his responsibility.” Climate change and ambitious climate policies are undermining.

Andrew Weaver, a climate scientist and former Canadian lawmaker at the University of Victoria, said Guterres’ assimilation of the fossil fuel and tobacco industry is “a direct comparison …” People are, in some sense, not responsible for what I can become. Serious crimes against society. “

But Stanfield University’s climate scientist and environmental program director Chris Field Gutierrez said the call to action was “perfectly correct,” but “we have to make sure that bad guys slow down the progress of solutions so we don’t focus on fossil fuel companies.”

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Ellen Nickmayer and Josh Bock contributed to this report from Washington.

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