tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN October 29, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PDT
>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. i'm wolf blitzer. we're here in rome, and we're following the breaking news that president joe biden and other world leaders have arrived here in the italian capital for the g20 summit of the world's wealthiest economies. but the u.s. president has landed here in rome without an agreement on his domestic agenda back in washington. house democrats once again postponing a critically important vote on his trillion dollar basic infrastructure bill. progressives and moderates among
the democrats. they are at odds, brushing aside the president's plea to support what's called a framework of his larger climate and economic package. >> this framework also makes the most significant investment to deal with the climate crisis ever, ever happened beyond any other advanced nation in the world. over a billion metric tons of emission reductions. at least ten times bigger on climate than any bill that has ever passed before and enough to position us for a 50% to 52% emission reduction by the year 2030. >> president biden is scheduled to meet with the leaders of both france and italy later today. but first, just a little while from now, a visit with pope francis right here behind me at the vatican where the climate crisis is expected certainly to be among the most important items on the agenda. i want to bring in our senior
international correspondent ben wedeman. he's here in rome. ben, set the scene for us. this is a critically important day not only for the president of the united states but these other world leaders as well. >> reporter: in fact, today could be more important than the g20 itself. he's going to be meeting with pope francis. this is the third time they've met, wolf, but the first time he's met the pope as president of the united states. and certainly we've heard from the pope in recent weeks. he has some very strong positions on matters that they don't necessarily see eye to eye on. the pope would like to see pharmaceutical companies share the formula for the covid vaccines with developing countries so that everybody can become vaccinated. and on that, he doesn't necessarily agree with the u.s. president and many of the other leaders at the g20, who seem to want to hold on, allow the pharmaceutical companies to hold on to those patents.
he's also called, for instance, for arms producers to stop producing arms. so obviously they're not going to agree on that either. but certainly he is among the leaders that president biden is going to be meeting with in the next few days. definitely the most forward-looking of them all. then, of course, he's meeting with sergio mattarella, the italian president mario draghi, the italian prime minister. draghi has stressed we're seeing a birth of multilateralism after the years of america first of donald trump. but already that multilateralism has been brought into doubt, for instance, by the u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan, which was messy and not particularly well-coordinated with u.s. allies. and then there's the question
he's meeting with emmanuel macron, the french president, and there, of course, there's the issue of that submarine deal, which really soured relations between the united states and france. so it's going to be a busy day for the u.s. president and probably not an easy one. wolf. >> yeah. france, america's oldest ally going back to the revolutionary war. then all of a sudden as a result of that ill-fated submarine deal which was handled inappropriately -- i think everyone acknowledges that -- right now, the president, ben, dramatically trying to improve, restore that very solid u.s./france relationship. that meeting with president macron, ben, is going to be very significant in trying to re-establish that connection, right? >> reporter: that's correct. we understand that, for instance, president biden is going to try to make up for the hurt feelings as a result of that scuttled submarine deal.
more u.s. support, logistical and otherwise, for france's counterterrorism activities in africa, which is, of course, critical for france and the united states. so they are going to try to mend the fences that have been damaged by of that scuttled submarine deal. and certainly given the long relationship between the united states and france, perhaps this is the beginning of a mending of those ties. wolf. >> yeah, that meeting with president macron will be very important. ben, i want you to stay with us. i also want to bring in miles johnson, the rome correspondent for the financial times. thanks very much for joining us. let's talk about the president, president biden's meeting with pope francis that's coming up very, very soon. set the scene for that meeting because it is really, really significant, especially to the president of the united states, who is a devout catholic, only the second catholic president in american history. >> well, as you say, i mean this is obviously a really important
moment in the life of any catholic to have a meeting with the pope, with pope francis. this isn't his first meeting, but it's -- you know, it's obviously going to be a time when this comes into context of him being here in rome for this go g20, for this moment of multilateralism. it's an attempt to show by biden that america is back and, you know, starting this whole process by meeting with the pope is hopefully going to set the tone for sort of collaborative skuxs. >> you heard ben say they're going to be talking about this covid-19 pandemic that's still affecting so many people in the u.s. and indeed around the world. abortion rights for women, that will also be a sensitive issue. i assume that will come up. these two men disagree. >> that is a very sensitive issue. in fact, you know, as we've seen, you know, there are
conservative elements in the catholic church in the united states who are, you know, upset with biden's position on that. it's obviously a very live issue. it's always been in the catholic church, and i certainly expect them to talk about it. what exactly they will say will be harder to know because, you know, this is going to be behind closed doors meeting. but, you know, clearly it's going to come up. >> and i take it the vatican is sort of restricting media coverage of this moment. is that right? >> yes. we're not going to be able to see exactly what -- you know, what they're going to be talking about. i think it is a reflection of the sensitivity of that issue and the sensitivity with constituencies in the catholic church and also in the united states. i think it's probably an issue that they want to discuss in private. >> stand by. i want to bring ben back in. ben, let's talk a little bit about missing world leaders who won't be here in rome. president putin of russia
decided not to attend. president xi of china not attending. explain first of all why they're not here for the g20 summit. normally they would be participating. >> reporter: and it's not just them. it's actually the leaders of mexico and japan as well. now, most of them have said, you know, we've got too many things going on at home, the covid pandemic for instance is rather severe in russia at the moment. but clearly their absence really sort of undermines the very idea of the g20 itself, which was supposed to bring together the major developing and developed economies to come up with some sort of united approach to the problems facing the world -- climate change, inequality between the developed and developing world. and their absence is going to affect the -- sort of the effectiveness of this gathering.
and as i said, it calls into question how useful this meeting is going to be given that russia and china in terms of population and the economy are significant. china, for instance, is the biggest producer of greenhouse gases, and they are the most hesitant to sign on to some of the more -- the vigorous measures to fight climate change. so their absence -- of course, last year let's keep in mind that saudi arabia hosted the g20 but remotely. so this is the first g20 since the pandemic to be held in person, but we seem to be lacking a lot of people. so all this sort of back-room discussions and bilateral meetings that would normally take place between leaders like biden and putin and others, those might not necessarily be
happening. so it's going to be a bit of an anticlimax when the g20 takes place beginning tomorrow. wolf. >> yeah, that's a very important point. miles, explain to our viewers what president biden is expected to hear from pope francis when it comes to climate because this is an important issue for the pontiff. >> it's a very important issue for him, and he's been very vocal about the need to, you know, take action, the need for collaboration between countries. it's all sort of being set up, you know, for this almost sort of medley of meetings where, you know, we have the g20. then we have the c.o.p. directly afterwards. i aut i think it's going to be talking about the high stakes of this. this is a moment where everyone is really hoping that some progress can be made, but it will be very difficult as ben said due to the lack of people physically here to get that progress. >> i think it's important that when it comes to climate, the
pope and the president basically are on the same page, right? are there any major, as far as you can tell -- and you're based here in rome. you cover this very closely. are there any major differences between what the president of the united states is going to say and what the pope is going to say? >> i would not expect there to be any major differences in the sort of -- in the big picture, you know, in terms of the pope isn't going into sort of micro policy details and the way in which, you know, the people who are negotiating the g20, i think the big picture is that action needs to be taken and action needs to be taken now. >> president biden will also meet with the leaders of italy. there have been some strains in the u.s. relationship with some of the european allies in recent years. how is the relationship with italy right now? >> i think that, you know, italy historically and especially this prime minister, mario draghi, sees the relationship with the united states as critical.
when mar row draghi came in as prime minister in february, in his first speech, he said, we are committed to the atlantic alliance. it was a very clear restatement of where italy's foreign policy commitments lie. i think italy is very, very committed to that. obviously there have been these tensions with france, you know, as was mentioned and, you know, the nuclear sub deal, and that mending between that relationship is going to have to occur this weekend between biden and president macron of france. where italy is obviously stuck in -- like other european allies, stuck in a little bit of a situation where it has to balance those relationships. >> and the chaotic u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan certainly did not help improve that overall relationship. >> yes, that was a big shock to european leaders, including, i think, italian diplomats. it came after very high expectations for collaboration with the biden administration after slightly less collaboration and more sort of
unilateralism during the previous administration. when that happened and the timing of it was a bit of a shock, and that is something that i think now european diplomats are considering, european governments are considering in the way they're calibrating their foreign policy. >> miles johnson, thank you very, very much. ben wedeman, we'll get back to you of course. top world leaders, they are headed to rome. most of them already here for the first g20 summit in person in two years. but why are the presidents of russia and china staying at home? we have more information. that's coming up next. plus, the treasury secretary of the united states, janet yellen, she's standing by. she will join me for a live one-on-one interview to discuss president biden's spending and infrastructure bill and whether arriving at the g20 without a deal in hand is a failure. all that and much more coming up as our special coverage from rome continues. taking metamucin help. metamucil psyllium fiber, gels to trap
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welcome back to our continuing coverage of president joe biden's trip to rome and the g20 summit this weekend. as we've been reporting, lots of focus on the two major leaders who have decided to stay at home during this critically important gathering. the russian president, vladimir putin, and the chinese leader, xi jinping. they are not headed here to rome, but they are expected, by the way, to take part in the event, at least via video link. let's get some more on all of this. our selina wang is standing by in tokyo for us. i want to start, though, with sam kiley. he's joining us live from moscow covering mr. putin's decision to skip traveling to rome. explain, sam, what happened. why isn't president putin here
in rome? >> reporter: well, the official line is that russia has a covid problem, and it's true. it is. daily over 1,000 people now officially dying of covid, wolf. and clearly vladimir putin's people don't want him traveling into an environment in which these face-to-face meetings are going on. the real reason, though, wolf, is that these are not meetings that vladimir putin values very highly. what he does value is chaos in the ranks of his rivals, and he's no doubt sitting back watching the anglo phone world squabble. you've got a diplomat spat going on with fishing and other issues in the united kingdom. poor relations after the afghan debacle between the united states and her allies in mainland europe. and vladimir putin's real focus over the next year is going to be on a bilateral meeting with joe biden. joe biden's the only man that he sees as a sufficient colossus
for him to meet in any serious sense. the other, of course, would be the president of china. he sees himself very much in that bracket of leadership and sees historically very little to be gained from these large gatherings of the international community of leaders. and in the past, he's always used them as opportunities to take the elbow, if you like, of the u.s. president and get a great deal of focus on bilateral meetings that happen unofficially during these sorts of gatherings of g20 and others, wolf. >> i was in geneva when president putin met personally one-on-one with president biden. it was a very significant moment. i assumed it was going to be repeated here in rome. clearly that's not happening. sam, i want you to stand by. as we said, the chinese president, xi jinping, won't be here at the g20 summit in person either. he will be joining via video link. cnn's selina wang is joining us live from tokyo right now.
explain what's going on as far as president xi is concerned. >> reporter: well, wolf, beijing hasn't given an official reason for why he won't be here in person, but xi jinping has not left china in more than two years, ever since the pandemic started. at home he is dealing with another surge in covid-19 cases. china has recorded more than 200 infections since october 17th, which, wolf, sounds very low by international standards, but in china where they are still pursuing this zero tolerance covid-19 strategy, even a few cases can lead to drastic action, like mass lockdowns and mass testing. so optics-wise, beijing may have decided it was best if xi did not leave the country. but certainly his absence lowers any expectations that this could lead to an improvement in u.s./china relations as tensions are running high over taiwan, south china sea, hong kong and china's human rights record. in account fa, his absence could provide more opportunities for
washington to align more closely with other countries that are similarly frustrated with beijing. one of the most productive parts of the g20 is these in person face to face meetings on the sidelines of the g20. that is not going to be possible for biden and xi, but he will be participating virtually with a speech as well as holding these virtual bilateral meetings. take a listen to what u.s. national security adviser jake sullivan had to say. >> president xi has chosen not to attend these summits. he's chosen not to leave china at all in calendar year 2021 to see any leader. that's of course his choice. so we are -- i'm not going to character the decision-making he's making. all i can say is from the u.s. president's perspective, president biden does believe it's important that he have the opportunity to have a face to-face engagement with xi jinping. >> reporter: but the white house has said that xi and biden have agreed in principle to a virtual meeting before the end of this year.
this comes as the white house has been emphasizing that lines of communication between the u.s. and china are critical to avoid accidental conflict, to responsibly manage the competition. but, wolf, beyond these geopolitical dynamics, there's also the concern that xi's absence limits the amount of progress that can be made on climate. xi is also expected to skip out in person of cop26. climate watchers say this could be a sign that the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter is not ready to make any more concessions. the senior policy climate adviser for greenpeace told me that beijing still has not made nearly enough commitments in the lead-up to the summit in glasgow. wolf. >> yeah, that's going to be monday and tuesday in scotland, the climate summit. i'll be there as well. selina wang in tokyo, thank you. sam kiley in moscow, thanks to you as well. we'll stay in close touch. lots going on. with just a minuscule democratic majority, president biden has been desperately trying to push massive spending plans through the u.s. congress. the hope and the dream was to
have it done by now, so where do things stand, and what will it take to get his domestic agenda passed? stand by. much more of our special coverage when we come back. pple, neuriva plus fuels six key indicators of brain performance. more brain performance? yes, please! neuriva. think bigger. i looked on ancestry and just started digging and found some really cool stuff... it was just a lot of fun. just to talk to my parents about it and to send it to my grandparents and be like, hey this person we're all related to look at this crazy stuff they did in arizona 100 years ago. it actually gives you a picture of their life, so you get to feel like you're walking the same path they did. ♪ ♪
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right now. still no deal back in washington on the president's spending plans. democrats remain deeply divided over his $1 trillion infrastructure package, and once again push back the vote. president biden delayed his flight to europe by several hours to go to capitol and pitch them on what's called a framework for an even bigger social spending package. but house democratic progressives say it's simply not enough, not yet, and they're not ready to budge. >> i know that is something the speaker wanted. i have signaled for days that we simply did not have the votes for the bipartisan bill without the other bill, the build back better act, which has 85% of the president's agenda that we really care deeply about. but our members have been saying for months that these two bills need to be -- need to go together and that we need to have the legislative text. we have the text, and i really think it's going to be -- it's going to be quick here for us to
pass both these bills through the house. >> in the u.s., moderate democrat joe manchin who has been behind other major delays released a statement about the so-called framework, saying this. it's the product of months of negotiation, he said. and as we work through the text of the legislation, i would hope all of us will continue to deal in good faith and do what is right for the future of the american people, end quote. that from senator manchin. the house passed a temporary extension of highway funding, which will keep 3,700 federal workers from being furloughed in the coming days. it was set, by the way, to expire this weekend. but when it comes to pushing through president biden's much larger overall agenda, the domestic agenda, when will the situation change? i want to bring in cnn white house reporter kevin liptak, who is here with me in rome watching all of this unfold. this is a deep disappointment for president biden, for the speaker nancy pelosi. they were at least hoping to get
that infrastructure, the traditional infrastructure package, $1.2 trillion for america's roads, bridges, highways, everything else. they wanted to get that passed, didn't happen. >> remember, this was a deadline the president set for himself. he has been telling lawmakers over of the last two weeks that it would be a disappointment if he arrives in rome, and the glasgow climate summit next week if he doesn't have a deal on infrastructure and this larger social spending package. now, what the president did yesterday was essentially a last gambit to get these democrats aligned on this bill. he came to the east room. he said that he wanted their votes to get these bills passed. but by the time he landed in rome yesterday, it was clear that there was just too much mistrust between these two sides of the democratic party. progressives say that they need a signal from senators manchin and sinema that they support this package. on the other side, manchin and
sinema have put out some very supportive statements but they haven't said explicitly that they will get behind this bill. and until that happens, it's very hard to see how these two sides come together and give the president what he wants. >> the president, he was clearly worried that if he came empty-handed as far as the u.s. congress was concerned, that would undermine his strength in going into these meetings with g20 world leaders. >> yeah, and what white house officials say is that fellow world leaders are savvy enough to understand the president's predicament in all of this. they're politicians themselves. they have a very good idea of how the u.s. system works. but it was the president himself who said america's prestige is on the line. and it's not just about climate. the climate is the biggest part of this. the u.s. wants other countries to provide their own emissions reduction commitments, but it's a larger issue. remember, wolf, when we were on the president's first foreign trip in june, his message was that america is back and that democracies have to prove that they can deliver for their
people. this was going to be his best way of proving that the american democracy can deliver these huge programs for the american people. now he comes on his second foreign trip in very different circumstances, without this bill passed, and really unable to say that he's delivering at least yet. this isn't done by any means, but at least yet. >> very different when we were in geneva in june for those meetings and in the uk for the earlier meetings as opposed to right now. thank you very much. in just a few hours, the presidents of france and the united states will sit down together here in rome. it will be the first time president biden and president emmanuel macron have spoken face to face since they had a falling out in september over a canceled submarine deal. paris is still furious over what it calls america's betrayal for leaving it in the dark. the secretly negotiated security agreement between australia and the u.s. and the uk cost france
a multi-multi-billion dollar contract. i want to go to paris. our correspondent melissa bell is standing by. i know this meeting between president biden and president macron will be significant. how seriously damaged was the u.s./france relationship as a result of this submarine deal? >> reporter: well, it is, wolf, the fact that france lost that contract, but it's also the manner in which it learned of this alliance created between the united states, australia, and the united kingdom an hour or so it was announced to the world. to give you an idea of just how angry paris was, the french foreign minister described it as something more reminiscent of the trump administration. going back to what kevin was saying a moment ago, it wasn't just that joe biden comes back to europe in different s circumstances but also facing a tougher crowd.
emmanuel macron wants support for european defense systems, policy, something he's been arguing for for a long time. but also help in the region where france has been fighting, wolf, a battle for much of the last eight years. but if the trust will be difficult to restore entirely, what we do expect from the meeting is at least the beginning of a thawing of the ice that has come to surround what is the united states' oldest alliance, wolf. >> yeah, the oldest ally that the united states has had over all of these years. what were the possibility, melissa, of president biden instead of meeting with president macron here in rome, there was some speculation that after the climate summit in scotland, president biden might actually go to paris and meet with president macron in paris where you are. what were the chances of that happening? i know there was some discussion of that. >> reporter: there was discussion of that. in the end, it is just in rome
that they'll be meeting. then of course in glasgow. but the vice president will be making a trip to paris here in november, another opportunity for france and the united states to continue with the thawing of that relationship. but clearly this is a meeting that is going to be much testier than what we've seen in the past between american and french presidents, again with much clearer and concrete objectives. it's no doubt in glasgow, a clear determination to act multilaterally when it comes to climate change. >> i know the u.s. has been working hard to patch up this relationship with france, america's oldest ally. i know that secretary of state antony blinken has been meeting with french officials. jake sullivan has been meeting with french officials. but today president biden will meet with president macron. that will be significant. then vice president kamala harris will be going to paris to
further follow up. melissa, thank you very, very much. melissa bell reporting from paris. one big question remains. what does it mean for president biden to come to rome without a final deal on this key domestic agenda? i'll speak live with the u.s. treasury secretary, janet yellen. she'll join me for this live interview in the next hour. make sure to stay with us for that. much more of our coverage coming up from rome right after this.
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in the coming hours, president biden will arrive here at the vatican right behind me for what's expected to be a truly historic meeting with pope francis. i want to bring in cnn's delia gallagher, who covers the vatican for us. delia, they have a personal relationship, the president of the united states and pope francis. >> well, they do, and i think part of what makes today special is president biden has met propose francis before but never hasn't, you know, and a catholic president. >> this will be their fourth meeting. >> this will be their fourth meeting. the other times they've met, president biden has spoken about their meeting, for example, in 2015 when the pope came to the united states and took the biden family aside. he met with them privately, and he consoled them on the death of their son, and president biden has spoken about how much that meant to them. so there you already see a kind of personal relationship
developing, and then the following year in 2016, he came back here as vice president, and he spoke to a conference on stem cell research. so there is already a relationship, but obviously, you know, these meetings, wolf, they can go anywhere from 20 to 50 minutes and it's basically face time. it's the time to shore up that personal relationship which obviously between the pope and the president of the united states is a vital relationship for both sides, obviously for pope francis, he spent most of his pontificate speaking about these issues of climate, of the poor, of vaccines more recently, and at the opening of g20, of cop26, and he's looking to the united states for that leadership. so the personal relationship that he will develop with president biden is going to be important even on the political scene. >> they agree on so many issues, and as i think everybody knows by now, president biden is a devout catholic. he goes to church almost every
single weekend. but they disagree when it comes to abortion rights for women. >> sure. now, the question is, okay, how much is that going to be a topic of discussion? first we should say obviously these are private conversations. we get a statement afterwards both from the white house and from the vatican, usually worded very carefully. but really the question is, look, both sides know where they stand on abortion. the moment right now in the united states for the president with the u.s. catholic bishops is that some of them are discussing whether or not to put into a document on communion something about catholic politicians who support abortion should not receive communion. we asked the pope about that just in september coming back from slovakia on the papal plane. he didn't get into the details of the u.s. situation as he never does but he says generally bishops should be pastors. they should not condemn. they should act with tenderness. so we kind of get the line where
pope francis wouldn't want to see communion becoming an issue politically. we've also seen from the vatican back in may, there was a letter from the congregation of the doctrine of the faith to the u.s. bishops on this question, and they really emphasized, look, whatever you do -- because the bishops have a lot of freedom and leeway, and a bishop in the catholic church can decide a lot for himself and for his people. but the letter said, you know, whatever you do, it needs to be in unity, not divisive. so i think the message from the vatican, as i say, they're not going to get involved in the actual policy of the u.s. bishops, but they're going to say, look, be careful when you're talking about communion and calling out a specific group of people. >> the pope, i take it, also wants the wealthy nations to help the less wealthy nations when it comes to covid. >> look, the whole -- the whole point of the pope speaking about these issues is geared towards that. i mean they all kind of converge
on a question of a preference for the poor in the catholic speak, and most recently obviously on vaccines, he is in favor of waiving patents. he came out with a speech two weeks ago which was just a rousing speech saying, you know, in the name of god, i ask pharmaceutical companies to waive their patents. in the name of god, i ask politicians to work together. that's what he's looking for from the united states, this leadership to get all the countries together to make these things happen. >> this is still a worldwide pandemic that's going on, and it's still killing a lot of people. thank you very much. don't go too far away. we're staying on top of all these developments. also coming up, dire warnings that time is quickly running out to address climate change even as world leaders prepare to meet in scotland monday and tuesday to try to work out a long-term solution. we'll have a preview of what's called cop26. that's just ahead.
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what's the #1 retinol brand used most by dermatologists? it's neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair® smooths the look of fine lines in 1-week, deep wrinkles in 4. so you can kiss wrinkles goodbye! neutrogena® i'm wolf blitzer in rome. we're following the breaking news. president joe biden and other world leaders have arrived here in the italian capital for the g20 summit of the world's wealthiest economies. but the u.s. president has arrived without an agreement on his own domestic agenda back home, which includes aggressive actions on carbon emissions.
that could potentially handicap his diplomatic efforts at both the g20 here in rome and at the cop26 climate conference that starts next week. cnn's phil black has more on what's at stake at this year's glasgow summit. >> reporter: these are just some of the biblical events the world has seen and experienced in 2021. extreme floods, fires, droughts, and record temperatures. across the insurreu.s. and arou world. proof, scientists say, we're already living in a climate crisis. >> it's here. i mean it's upon us. people see that. people feel that. >> reporter: todd stern led u.s. climate negotiations through the obama administration and helped forge 2015's paris agreement. that breakthrough document includes a critical promise.
all countries will work to keep the global average temperature increase within 1.5 and 2 degrees celsius. >> we've got a hell of a long way to go. >> because the reality is at the moment we're nowhere near to being on track, to keeping things below 2, let alone 1.5. >> we're not near being on track, but we're getting better. >> reporter: better ultimately isn't good enough. at the glasgow climate conference, each country will be judged on whether it's cutting emissions sufficiently to ensure that crucial 1.5 degree target is still achievable. the scientific consensus says the goal is now slipping beyond reach, and the consequences will be disastrous. >> without action to curb greenhouse gas emissions, we could see temperatures go well beyond 3 degrees of warming by the end of the century, something that the earth has not experienced for 3 million years, long before humans were on the planet. it would be a very, very different world.
>> reporter: u.s. leadership through example is vital at glasgow to boost other countries. the plan is bold, hid net zero carbon by 2050. >> that's fantastic, but it needs to demonstrate that they can deliver that, and the lack of agreement at federal level and indeed in many states, to the outside world looks like that will be a major challenge. >> reporter: success also depends on big new commitments from china. the world's biggest polluter is responsible for more than a quarter of global emissions. china's long-term goal is becoming carbon-neutral by 2060. >> so it's quite important that china move much more than they have. again, there's that long-term goal is pretty good, but between now and 2030, they haven't pledged really anything. >> reporter: the urgent challenge for china and many developing countries is to stop burning coal for electricity while still rapidly growing their economies and lifting
populations out of poverty. the issue is going to be a key focus at glasgow along with finance from rich countries to help poorer countries make the change. but even before the conference opens, it's clear there are tensions over some countries' unwillingness to offer detailed, ambitious commitments. >> we're behind, and we have to stop the b.s. that is being thrown at us by a number of countries that have not been willing to sign up to what great britain has signed up to, we've signed up to, japan, canada, the eu. that is to keep 1.5 degrees alive. >> reporter: it's expected glasgow will deliver progress, but will it be enough? as frequent extreme events demonstrate, the growing dangers of failure, scientists assure there's now very little time left to prevent climate change on a devastating scale. phil black, cnn, london.
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