Pope Francis meets Joe Biden, then U.S. vice president, at the Vatican, April  2016 
Osservatore Romano / Reuters

A mood of pessimism already shrouds the upcoming United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, where world leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, will try to agree to next steps in the urgent fight against global warming. These summits often don’t live up to their expectations, even as the stakes for their success or failure grow ever higher. It seems unlikely that Glasgow will produce the major commitments experts say are necessary to keep temperatures from rising above dangerous thresholds and to help protect vulnerable communities from the worst impacts of the changing climate.

Before Biden arrives in Glasgow,

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