As part of the Biden administration’s embrace of global partnerships, President Joe Biden was set to announce Friday that the U.S. will pump up to $4 billion into a worldwide effort to distribute the coronavirus vaccine.
The announcement was set to come as part of a virtual meeting of the G7 leaders, CNN reported, citing senior administration officials.
Friday also marks the administration’s rollout of its action plan for living up to the terms of the Paris climate agreement. Former President Donald Trump revoked America’s participation in the project, but Biden rejoined the deal on his first day in office. That step became official on Friday.
“Climate change and science diplomacy can never again be ‘add-ons’ in our foreign policy discussions. Addressing the real threats from climate change and listening to our scientists is at the center of our domestic and foreign policy priorities. It is vital in our discussions of national security, migration, international health efforts, and in our economic diplomacy and trade talks,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration also plans to spend billions to vaccinate people in other nations against the coronavirus.
Biden’s plan funnels $2 billion through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access initiative, known by the acronyms of COVAX, which is led by the World Health Organization; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
“Using money appropriated by a bipartisan Congressional vote in December 2020, the United States will provide an initial $2 billion contribution to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance for the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, the innovative financing instrument of the COVAX Facility, which supports access to safe and effective vaccines for 92 low- and middle-income economies,” the White House announced in a statement.
“The United States will also take a leadership role in galvanizing further global contributions to COVAX by releasing an additional $2 billion through 2021 and 2022, of which the first $500 million will be made available when existing donor pledges are fulfilled and initial doses are delivered to AMC countries.”
“This pledge to COVAX does not impact the vaccination program in the United States at all,” an administration official told CNN.
The White House suggested more money will be on the way to vaccinate populations of other nations.
“The United States will take a leadership role in galvanizing new donor commitments toward the COVAX Facility,” the Biden administration statement said.
“The next $2 billion of support from the US government, which will be additional to today’s initial $2 billion contribution, will be released as we work with other donors to elevate pledge commitments.”
The Paris climate agreement that the U.S. has now rejoined will require America to reduce emissions to meet the deal’s targets.
“It’s not enough for the U.S. to rejoin Paris. We have to begin to cut our emissions to be able to put pressure on countries like China, whose emissions are still growing,” Paul Bledsoe, a climate adviser in the Clinton administration, told NBC News.
The target set during the Obama administration was to reduce emissions by 26 percent by 2025, as compared to 2005.
Now that it has rejoined the agreement, the Biden administration must set a new target.
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