Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFord to bolster electric vehicle production in multi-billion dollar push Protesters demonstrate outside Manchin's houseboat over opposition to reconciliation package Alabama eyes using pandemic relief funds on prison system MORE reaffirmed the Obama administration's goal of tackling climate change during the president's second term in a meeting with the French president Monday.
“I was impressed in the discussion we had relative to climate change — and I mean this sincerely, Mr. President — I could have been sitting in a private meeting with President Obama,” Biden said in joint remarks with Francois Hollande following their meeting at the Elysee Palace.
Biden said Obama was “committed” to a “united effort” on behalf of “young people in both our countries” whose lives could be altered by global climate change.
“As I pointed out to the Foreign Minister [Laurent Fabius], he is going to have an interlocutor in John KerryJohn KerryOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — Senate Finance chair backs budget action on fossil fuel subsidies Kerry: 'We can't get where we need to go' in climate fight if China isn't joining in MORE. There is no one in my country who has been, over the period of time he’s been in the Senate, more concerned with or knowledgeable about the issues relating to global warming.”
While efforts to curtail greenhouse gas emissions are going nowhere in Congress, the State Department has been working on green energy and climate partnerships and multinational talks to address climate pollutants like methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons. Environmental advocates hope the United States will show leadership in helping to craft a new global treaty with binding targets for reducing emissions by 2015.
Hollande said Fabius would soon be traveling to the United States to meet with Kerry.
The two leaders also talked about the conflicts in Mali and Syria, the nuclear standoff with Iran, the global economy and hopes for restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Biden's visit to Paris follows a weekend trip to the Munich Security conference, where he met with several world leaders on the topic of Syria's civil war, including U.N. special envoy Lakdhar Brahimi, Syrian Opposition Coalition President Moaz al-Khatib and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
During the conference, Biden said the United States could hold direct talks with Iran if its leaders showed they were “serious” about addressing concerns over their alleged nuclear weapons program.