Brexit Britain ‘slipped down the pecking order’ of Joe Biden’s trade priority list
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The pair sought to play down tensions over the Northern Ireland Protocol when they met in Cornwall for the G7 summit. It came after Mr Biden’s national security adviser said the White House had “deep” concerns a UK-EU trade row could endanger peace in Northern Ireland. But there is one thing the pair are said to strongly see eye-to-eye on – the climate crisis.
Jim Watson, Professor of Energy Policy at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, has tipped it to strike a chord in their relationship.
He said: “They have their differences on things, particularly Brexit, but on climate there there has been a strong alignment with US Presidents.
“Obviously not with Donald Trump, but with Biden that alignment is stronger.
“I think it would be even stronger if Boris doubles down on his plans and shows how, in the next few years, we will keep the momentum.
Joe Biden placed climate change at the top of his priority list (Image: GETTY)
The pair met at the G7 summit earlier this year (Image: GETTY)
“That’s the big question. I don’t think there should be any more debates about 2050 – we have our target – now the emphasis needs to be on what we are doing in the next week, month and years.”
With three months to go before the UK hosts the critical UN climate change summit in Glasgow, the Government has been working hard to meet its goals.
But Prof Watson says he has “mixed feelings” about the Government’s current policies.
He added: “On the positive side, this Government has been very quick to move on setting ambitious long-term targets.
“In some ways, we are making good progress, if you look at what is happening to our power system – the way we generate electricity – it has shifted very quickly and is a lot less carbon [focused].
Mr Biden is said to be concerned about the Northern Ireland Protocol (Image: GETTY)
“But in other areas where there are questions over whether our Government is doing enough to really help people improve their homes, or adopt to different kinds of vehicles.
“I guess on the overall picture, quite good, but on the detailed projects there’s a lot more to do and that’s a bit of a problem ahead of COP26.”
The expert, who is also Director at the UK Energy Research Centre, said failure to address issues in the UK will put Mr Johnson in a “weaker position” to negotiate with others.
He added: “Boris has published his Ten Point Plan, but there’s not enough detail about how you really help people and business to change quickly enough.
“The IPCC has made very clear that, if we don’t do this, everybody loses.”
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The days are counting down until COP26 (Image: GETTY)
World leaders will discuss how to tackle climate change (Image: GETTY)
It comes after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a damning report on global warming.
Experts sent a “code red” warning to humanity that drastic cuts to emissions are needed in order to hold the global temperature to under the 1.5C limits set by the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Mr Johnson said the report should serve as “a wake-up call” for world leaders as they prepare to gather in Glasgow later this year.
Mr Biden said: We can’t wait to tackle the climate crisis.
“The signs are unmistakable. The science is undeniable. And the cost of inaction keeps mounting.”