Biden and King Charles III Tackle Climate Change Agenda at Windsor Castle Meeting

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LONDON (AFP)-President Joe Biden and King Charles III met for the first time in their respective roles at Windsor Castle, using the opportunity to address the pressing issue of climate change and encourage private companies to support clean energy initiatives in developing nations. The meeting, which went beyond mere formality, included a climate-focused roundtable discussion with officials from the financial and philanthropic sectors, attended by John Kerry, the U.S. envoy on climate.

King Charles, 74, who has long been an advocate for wildlife protection and climate change mitigation, has already made the environment a significant part of his policy legacy since being crowned in May. President Biden, 80, has also identified climate change as a top priority and has signed comprehensive legislation allocating nearly $375 billion in climate-related incentives.

The meeting between Biden and Charles demonstrates a growing friendship and warmth between the two leaders. They showed their amicable rapport during the ceremonial arrival at Windsor Castle, in contrast to more formal encounters between past U.S. presidents and British royalty. The late Queen Elizabeth II’s political views were closely guarded, and her meetings with world leaders were largely ceremonial. However, Charles, both as heir to the throne and now as king, has been outspoken on various issues, including architecture and the environment. The leaders did not make public statements at Windsor Castle.

In addition to his meeting with Charles, Biden also held discussions with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The leaders addressed global issues, including the conflict in Ukraine, with both countries strongly supporting Kyiv. The United Kingdom has urged the United States to take more assertive steps in providing military aid to Ukraine. Biden’s decision to provide cluster munitions to Ukraine, a controversial weapon prohibited by the majority of NATO members due to the potential harm to civilians, was also discussed. While there is a difference of opinion on the use of cluster munitions, the leaders emphasized their shared strategic goals and unity in addressing the Ukraine conflict.

The meeting between Biden and Sunak further emphasized the enduring “special relationship” between the United States and the United Kingdom. The leaders met over tea at 10 Downing Street’s garden, underscoring their strong alliance. The meeting provided an opportunity to review progress on initiatives outlined in the Atlantic Declaration, which was signed during Sunak’s visit to the White House. The declaration focuses on critical minerals and aims to support joint U.S.-U.K. leadership in green technology.

Overall, the meetings between Biden, Charles, and Sunak aimed to address climate change, enhance cooperation on global issues, and reaffirm the strong alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom.

King Charles III, who has long been an advocate for environmental protection and combating climate change, has made the environment a significant part of his policy legacy. President Biden has identified climate change as one of the four crises he aims to address during his presidency and has already signed a legislative package that includes substantial incentives for climate-related initiatives.

The meeting between Biden and Charles aims to inject substance into the typically ceremonial encounters between U.S. presidents and British royalty. The two leaders displayed warmth and friendship during their arrival at Windsor Castle, with Biden putting his hand on Charles’s arm and back. The meeting highlights the generational issue of climate change and the importance of private companies in bolstering clean energy efforts in developing countries.

In addition to the meeting with King Charles, President Biden also met with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to discuss global issues, including the war in Ukraine. The U.K. has urged the U.S. to provide more military aid to Ukraine, and Biden’s decision to provide cluster munitions to Ukraine was a topic of discussion.

The meeting between Biden and Sunak also aimed to monitor progress on measures and initiatives under the Atlantic Declaration, which was signed during Sunak’s visit to the White House. This includes negotiations on critical minerals to support shared U.S. and U.K. leadership in green technology.