President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken participate in the virtual Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate Friday at the White House in Washington, D.C. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 17 (UPI) -- During a climate summit at the White House on Friday, President Joe Biden set of goal of cutting global methane emissions 30% by the end of the 2020s.
Biden and a number of world leaders coordinated on the goals at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate on Friday morning.
The U.S. president said the team effort is necessary to improve health and lives worldwide, as well as the global food supply.
"We don't have a lot of time so we have to act, all of us, and we have to act now," Biden said, according to The Washington Post. "We have got to continue to play a vital role going forward.
"At this critical juncture, at the start of a decisive decade, I'd like to use this forum to forge a political momentum and consensus to drive concrete actions."
Biden led Friday's summit, which was attended by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, White House climate czar John Kerry, European Union President Ursula von der Leyen, South Korean President President Moon Jae-in, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and European Council President Charles Michel.
Everyone but Biden, Blinken and Kerry attended the summit remotely.
Biden has attempted to recruit China and India -- two of the world's most carbon-emitting nations -- to pledge to cut emissions. So far, those efforts have been unsuccessful.
"Slashing methane emissions is the most important action countries can take to slow global warming in the next few decades," Nathaniel Keohane, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, told The New York Times.
The president's virtual meeting came ahead of the United Nations climate summit, COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland, next month -- and one day after a landmark U.N. report said global emissions are quickly rising worldwide after a brief respite in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden also held a virtual climate summit in April with more than 40 leaders. That meeting was partly aimed at restoring U.S. leadership on climate change after a significant retreat under former President Donald Trump.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, methane is a global warming gas that's emitted during the production and transport of coal, natural gas and oil. Methane emissions also come from livestock and other agricultural practices, land use and by the decay of organic waste in municipal solid waste landfills.