Biden's Big Climate Summit Gets Off to a Disastrous Start Thanks to Technical Difficulties


The Biden administration’s two-day virtual climate summit got a shaky start as technical difficulties plagued speeches by Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden.

Harris and Biden kicked off the Leaders Summit on Climate Thursday morning with two separate speeches about climate change in the United States.

However, both speeches were hard to hear because of an awful microphone echo.

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The issue was fixed shortly into Biden’s speech in which he pledged that the United States would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent.

“These steps will set America on a path of net-zero emissions economy by no later than 2050,” Biden said.

“But the truth is, America represents less than 15 percent of the world’s emissions. No nation can solve this crisis on our own, as I know you all fully understand.”

Biden addressed the attending forty heads of states, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, calling on other countries to follow his lead in making similar commitments to cut emissions.

Another technological glitch appeared later in the morning as it seemed French President Emmanuel Macron’s speech was cut off by a series of technical difficulties.

Macron was in the middle of his speech when a voice-over said “Thank you very much, Mr. President” and Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry looking confused were shown on the screen.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was then pulled up, looking unsure of what to do, and asked a question to someone offscreen before he was given the floor.

Blinken appeared to explain that Macron’s comments were taped and Putin was live.

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The summit is part of the Biden administration’s effort to rejoin worldwide efforts to reduce climate change. Biden signed an executive order to rejoin the 2015 Paris climate agreement as one of his first acts as president.

“The Leaders Summit on Climate will underscore the urgency — and the economic benefits — of stronger climate action,” The White House said in a statement when Biden sent out invitations to the summit.

“In his invitation, the President urged leaders to use the Summit as an opportunity to outline how their countries also will contribute to stronger climate ambition.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith