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Climate Politics

It’s Climate Week, and the UN Is Mostly Consumed With Other Problems

There’s a relatively minor focus on floods, droughts and heat waves at the United Nations meeting.

The United Nations General Assembly meets in New York on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. 

The United Nations General Assembly meets in New York on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. 

Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

Between floods that ravaged Pakistan and droughts that parched Europe and China, and innumerable heat waves, the global impact of climate change has become tangible lately. Yet climate hasn’t been at the top of the agenda at the United Nations General Assembly taking place this week in New York City. 

World leaders have largely focused their remarks on Russia’s war in Ukraine and soaring energy prices, among other issues. US President Joe Biden began his speech on Wednesday with a harsh condemnation of the Russian invasion before briefly touching on climate change. He touted his administration’s new climate law as a “global game changer,” then he moved on.