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U.S. seeks to galvanize global climate, energy, food security actions

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U.S. seeks to galvanize global climate, energy, food security actions
President Joe Biden participates in a virtual meeting with leaders of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington on Friday. Photo by Michael Reynolds/UPI | License Photo

June 17 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden reconvened leaders of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate on Friday in a bid to galvanize global climate, energy and food security actions.

It is the biggest climate meeting of world leaders ahead of the U.N. COP27 in November.

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A White House statement highlighted specific initiatives, including efforts to capture oil and gas sector methane leaks and put put more zero-emissions vehicles on the road to support a 2030 zero-emissions goal.

Biden was to call for speeding the commercialization of new clean energy technologies and increasing fertilizer efficiency and alternatives to reduce agriculture emissions, while enhancing global food security.

"These are all achievable goals and if we all commit to doing our part we will get it done," Biden said during a live-stream video as he convened the climate meeting.

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Biden urged the nations represented to collectively raise the $90 billion recommended by the International Energy Agency's Net Zero by 2050 roadmap for clean energy technology. Biden said the United States is stepping up with a $21.5 billion contribution.

"We cannot afford to let the critical goal of limiting global warming slip out of our reach. The window for action is rapidly narrowing," Biden said.

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"We've set a goal ensuring that half of all passengers cars sold in the U.S. by 2030 will be zero-emission."

The White House said accelerating the deployment of zero-emission vehicles will help reduce oil dependence, enhancing energy security and insulating economies from "price volatility driven by geopolitical and other supply disruptions."

Biden urged the nations attending to set a collective goal of 50% zero-emission vehicles by 2030.

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In a global effort to de-carbonize shipping, Biden said the United States is partnering with Norway to launch the Green Shipping Challenge for COP27.

The initiative encourages governments, ports, maritime carriers, cargo owners and others in the shipping chain to prepare concrete steps to help put the international shipping sector on a credible pathway toward full decarbonization no later than 2050.

On food security, the White House said the United States has established a $500 million program to support "innovative and sustainable U.S. fertilizer production."

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Food security is threatened in part by inability to access fertilizer in many low-income countries, the administration said.

A 10% reduction in global fertilizer loss would free up more than the total amount of mineral fertilizer used by all African countries, so the United States is launching a Global Fertilizer Challenge, with the goal of raising another $100 million in new funding by November for COP 27.

"Climate-driven food security shocks will continue to cause food scarcity and suffering if steps are not taken to increase food system resilience," the White House said.

Biden urged fellow nations to "to align with the Paris temperature goal and to strengthen their targets for COP27." That goal is to keep global warming under a 1.5-degree limit.

The Major Economies Forum nations account for roughly 80% of global GDP and greenhouse gas emissions, according to the White House.

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