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Biden to back Ukraine, push to ‘climate-proof our world’ in UN speech

WASHINGTON — President Biden was set to call on the world’s countries to back Ukraine against Russia’s invasion and “climate-proof our world” during a Tuesday address to the United Nations General Assembly.

Biden’s remarks on climate change, as well as his doubling down on US support for Ukraine against Russia’s nearly two-year-old invasion, were released by the White House in advance of the remarks. “Record breaking heatwaves in the United States and China. Wildfires ravaging North America and Southern Europe. A fifth year of drought in the Horn of Africa. Tragic flooding in Libya that has killed thousands of people,” Biden will say.

“Taken together these snapshots tell an urgent story of what awaits us if we fail to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and begin to climate-proof our world. From day one of my administration, the United States has treated this crisis as the existential threat that it is, not only to us, but to all of humanity.”

The 80-year-old president has taken heat from Republicans for advocating reductions in American use of fossil fuels without demanding similar reductions from countries such as China, which emits about twice as much greenhouse gases as the US, though less per capita.

Biden will also use the speech to knock Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine — as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky prepares to visit Washington later this week to advocate for more US aid from an increasingly reluctant Congress.

“Russia believes that the world will grow weary and allow it to brutalize Ukraine without consequence. But I ask you this: If we abandon the core principles of the UN Charter to appease an aggressor, can any member state feel confident that they are protected? If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure?” Biden is prepared to say.

“The answer is no. We must stand up to this naked aggression today to deter other would-be aggressors tomorrow. That is why the United States together with our Allies and partners around the world will continue to stand with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity — and their freedom.”

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