Overnight Energy & Environment

Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — Glasgow summit kicks off

Associated Press - Alberto Pezzali

Welcome to Monday’s Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

Today we’re looking at the launch of the COP26 summit and Sen. Joe Manchin’s latest comments on reconciliation. 

For The Hill, we’re Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk. Write to us with tips: rfrazin@thehill.com and zbudryk@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @RachelFrazin and @BudrykZack.

Let’s jump in.

Takeaways from COP26’s start

The COP26 climate summit has officially begun — with world leaders delivering speeches and making announcements in Glasgow. 

Here are some key points from the summit’s first day. 

Biden aims to reassert U.S. leadership

President Biden sought to restore the United States’ role as a major global player on climate change with an address Monday at the COP26 summit. 

“There’s no more time to hang back or sit on the fence or argue amongst ourselves,” Biden said. “This is the challenge of our collective lifetimes. The existential threat to human existence as we know it.”

During his appearance, Biden tried to convince world leaders that the U.S. had moved on from the policies of the Trump era and could be counted on in the global fight against climate change. 

Making amends: Biden also apologized for the decision by former President Trump to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, acknowledging that it set back the global community in the fight against climate change.  

“I guess I shouldn’t apologize, but I do apologize for the fact the United States in the last administration pulled out of the Paris accords and put us sort of behind the eight ball a little bit,” Biden said as he insisted that the U.S. is committed to doing its part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

And what now? Biden said the U.S. and other wealthy countries need to assist the rest of the world in tackling climate change, and that he’ll make that case to the American people. 

“Those of us who have taken actions a long time ago that caused the problems we have — we have to be ready to step up for everyone from Tanzania to Fiji to make sure that they have the wherewithal,” the president said.

“That’s the next big case that I’m going to have to make at home. They now know there is climate change and they’re ready to step up,” he added. 

Plus some new releases: The U.S. also released its strategy for achieving its long-term goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. The White House separately plans to ask Congress for $3 billion annually to help vulnerable countries adapt to climate change beginning in fiscal year 2024. 



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Both India and Brazil made new climate commitments aligned with the start of COP26. 

India: India is now saying it will seek to bring its national emissions to net-zero by 2070, two decades behind most major economies, which are aiming to eliminate or offset their emissions by 2050. 

Nevertheless, it’s a new commitment from India, which has previously expressed opposition to a 2050 net-zero push, with a group of countries writing that such an effort is “inequitable” and would “exacerbate further the existing inequities between developed and developing countries.”

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi also newly committed to reducing the country’s carbon intensity by 45 percent and getting 50 percent of its power from renewables by 2030. 

Brazil: South America’s largest country on Monday committed to cutting its emissions in half by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, up from 43 percent. 

It also recently previewed a goal of eliminating illegal logging by 2028, up from 2030.   

However, Brazil’s commitments were met with some skepticism, as critics questioned whether the country’s leadership could be trusted. 



Representatives of developing nations and Indigenous communities highlighted the heightened stakes of climate change for them at the climate conference on Monday. 

“Failure to provide the critical finance and that of loss and damage is measured in lives and livelihoods in our communities. This is immoral and it is unjust,” said Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley. 

“So I ask you: what must we say to our people living on the frontlines in the Caribbean, in Africa, in Latin America, in the Pacific, when both ambition and regrettably, some of the needed faces at Glasgow, are not present?” she added. 

Several world leaders did not attend the Glasgow summit in person, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“Do some leaders in this world believe that they can survive and thrive on their own? Have they learned nothing from the [coronavirus] pandemic?” Mottley said.

Read more about the comments here.



U.S. officials have made no secret of the fact that a meaningful reduction in emissions will require cooperation from China, the world’s number-one emitter. 

However, neither President Xi Jinping nor any other delegate from Beijing was present at the summit. While Xi had already announced he would not be present, the Chinese delegation also did not make a video appearance, instead saying it will submit a written statement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, also did not appear. Kremlin officials said Putin would instead appear virtually.

“We need to work out in what format it will be possible (for Putin) to speak via video conference, at what moment,” Putin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in October. “The issues that will be discussed in Glasgow right now form one of the priorities of our foreign policy.”



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Manchin holds off support on spending bill

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) addresses reporters about his views on the bipartisan infrastructure plan on Monday, November 1, 2021.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Monday demanded that the House immediately take up the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill while making it clear he’s not yet ready to support a separate social and climate spending bill.

Manchin, who called a press conference at the Capitol on Monday, railed against House progressives, accusing them of holding the infrastructure bill “hostage” while warning the tactics won’t force him to commit to the separate $1.75 trillion spending bill before he is ready.

“The political games have to stop,” Manchin said. “Holding this bill hostage is not going to work in getting my support for the reconciliation bill.” 

Manchin’s comments come after the House failed to have a vote last week on the Senate-passed infrastructure bill — again — amid pushback from progressives, who believe that it needs to be moved with the reconciliation package that is expected to carry new funding for health care, education, child care and other priorities.

It marked the second time that House leadership canceled plans to hold a vote on the bill amid progressive pushback, and the decision to yank the bill came hours after President Biden tried to rally the House Democratic Caucus. 

Read more about Manchin’s comments here.


The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will vote on the nominations of  Geraldine Richmond to be Under Secretary for Science, Brad Crabtree to be Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, and Asmeret Asefaw Berhe to be Director of the Office of Science, all of the Department of Energy, M. Camille Calimlim Touton to be Commissioner of Reclamation, Laura Daniel-Davis to be an Assistant Secretary, and Charles F. Sams III to be Director of the National Park Service, all of the Department of the Interior, Willie L. Phillips, Jr., to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and Sara C. Bronin to be Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.


‘Blockbuster’ Case Threatens EPA’s Climate Action, Rule Delays, Bloomberg Law reports

EPA Withheld Reports of Substantial Risk Posed by 1,240 Chemicals, The Intercept reports

The Coming Age of Climate Trauma, from The Washington Post

OPEC oil output rise in October undershoots target – survey, Reuters reports


Archbishop of Canterbury apologizes for comments comparing climate change to Nazis’ rise

White House climate adviser emphasizes value of state, local policy at climate summit

Trudeau calls upon world leaders to make polluters pay

Macron calls on world’s ‘largest emitters’ to ‘scale up’ their commitments

UN secretary general at climate summit: ‘We are digging our own graves’

With Subtropical Storm Wanda, meteorologists run out of names

2021 among hottest years in history: UN dataCOP26 takes on climate change at perilous time

And finally, something offbeat and off-beat: The words go in

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s energy & environment page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you tomorrow. 


Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden Joe Manchin Vladimir Putin

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