President Joe Biden has arrived in Europe ahead of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference which will hold next week.
The president’s signature climate policy is yet to pass through the US Congress. His $1.75tn (£1.2tn) Build Back Better social welfare package includes more than $500bn of spending on green policies.
Mr. Biden had before leaving Washington, described the measures as historic but the differences among Democrats mean it is unlikely to pass before the summit.
In a television address from the White House, Mr. Biden said, “It’s a framework that will create millions of jobs, grow the economy, invest in our nation and our people, turn the climate crisis into an opportunity.”
Mr Biden will also attend the G20 summit of major economies in Rome. His Build Back Better legislation covers a wide range of extra funding for health and child care, education and clean energy reforms.
The green spending would seek to dramatically slash US greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, provide new tax breaks for electric vehicles and roll out installation of solar panels on American homes.
The president had hoped to have the package passed in time for COP26 which begins in Glasgow on Monday.
The package is linked in Congress to a separate infrastructure bill worth $1.2tn which passed through the evenly split Senate, but some left-wing Democrats want changes to Build Back Better before agreeing to pass the bill through the House of Representatives and insist both bills must be voted on at the same time.
Mr. Biden’s fellow Democrats abandoned plans for a vote on Thursday. He implored Democrats during a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill to support his legislative plans, adding that he wanted to prove that US democracy still works.
The president, who is headed for the COP26 global climate summit in Scotland on Sunday, stopped first at the Vatican where he met with the Pope after on Friday.
Mr. Biden thanked the Pope for his advocacy for the poor, those suffering from hunger and persecution. He further hailed the Pope’s leadership on climate change.