Biden, first lady attend Mass as G-7 countries pledge $100B for global warming battle

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President Biden began his final day at the G-7 summit in England Sunday by attending church with first lady Jill Biden and will later meet Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle as the world leaders pledged to spend $100 billion to help poorer countries reduce carbon emissions and battle global warming.

The president and first lady spent about 30 minutes inside the Sacred Heart and St. Ia Catholic Church in St. Ives in the southwest of England. 

Following Mass, Biden called the service “beautiful” as he kissed his wife and escorted her to her vehicle in the presidential convoy as he made his way to the G-7 summit in a separate motorcade.

At the conclusion of the three-day summit, Biden and the first lady will travel to Windsor Castle to have tea with the Queen. 

A draft communique from the seven nations – the US, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan – reaffirmed their pledge to “mobilize $100 billion/year from public and private sources, through to 2025.”

“Towards this end, we commit to each increase and improve our overall international public climate finance contributions for this period and call on other developed countries to join and enhance their contributions to this effort,” the communique said.

Before meeting with the Queen, the president will hold a news conference.

During his meetings with the leaders of the world’s richest nations, Biden emphasized the US’ commitment to Europe, pressured attendees to confront economic powerhouse China, battle climate change and adopt infrastructure programs. 

The leaders agreed to launch a US-led program called “Build Back Better for the World” that aims to spend billions of dollars from the public and private sectors on climate projects, health initiatives, technology and “gender equity and equality” issues.

The B3W, as it has been referred to, is meant to counter China’s Belt and Road initiative.

But his attempts to have the world’s leaders press Beijing over its treatment of the ethnic Uyghurs in the western part of the country elicited a cool response and it’s unclear if any language calling for a tougher approach to China will be included in the G-7’s final communique.

Asked whether it would criticize China over its human rights violations and forced labor of the Uyghurs, a senior administration official said the subjects were a large part of the discussions.

“Certainly there’s a strong convergence in terms of a willingness to call out human rights abuses.  But I would say, with respect to non-market economic practices, my reference there was to work together collaboratively within the G-7 to find ways to confront those practices and to offer a better choice and affirmative path,” the official said.

With Post wires

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