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Biden speaks in Glasgow today. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden's delivery at the COP26 climate summit today wasn't especially lively, but his words were heavy on hope.

What they're saying: "The American people, four or five years ago, weren't at all sure about climate change," Biden said. "Well they have, as they say in southern parts of my state, seen the Lord. ... They're now finally — finally, finally, finally — realizing the sense of urgency that you all are."

Axios' Ben Geman's quick take: Some of the president's passages were aimed straight at a U.S. audience, and some at the rest of the world.

  • Biden pitched climate change to Americans as a huge opening for jobs. And he tried to assure other nations that action on U.S. emissions-cutting pledges are a fait accompli, not just rhetoric.
  • His Hill package is stuffed with huge new climate and clean energy investments and incentives. He came close to calling it a done deal, even though Democratic leaders are still wrangling votes.

Reality check: The backdrop is far from ideal for Biden.

  • Look who's not here: Xi Jinping of China, which is by far the world's biggest carbon emitter.
  • Xi's snub — he's providing a written statement, not even video remarks — is a big deal, especially after China's refusal last week to speed emissions cutbacks.
  • Biden steered clear of mentioning China today. But he didn't hide his pique at the G20 economic summit in Rome, noting at yesterday's press conference that China and Russia "basically didn’t show up in terms of any commitments."

The bottom line: Even a strong deal at the UN summit would be absolutely no guarantee that nations follow through with action.

  • But with steep cuts nowhere in evidence yet, Paris Agreement goals could grow even less attainable if the talks sputter.

Go deeper

What's next for the Fed on climate change

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Getty Images photos: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP and Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket

The Federal Reserve is poised to increase its climate focus even as President Biden's nomination of Chairman Jerome Powell to a second term disappointed advocates of policies to tilt the economy away from fossil fuels.

Catch up fast: Biden on Monday announced Powell's nod and said he's tapping Lael Brainard — a Fed board member who's outspoken on climate — as vice chair.

Biden administration makes first move on data privacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration is launching its first big effort on privacy policy by looking at how data privacy issues affect civil rights.

Why it matters: An administration perspective on privacy policy could be key in developing a long-awaited national privacy law by putting the White House stamp on how to regulate privacy.

Axios Investigates

Exclusive: Airbnb hosts Xinjiang rentals on land owned by sanctioned group

Data: Axios research, Airbnb, Australia Strategic Policy Institute's International Cyber Policy Centre; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Airbnb has more than a dozen homes available for rent in China's Xinjiang region on land owned by an organization sanctioned by the U.S. government for complicity in genocide and forced labor, an Axios investigation has found.

Why it matters: The listings expose Airbnb to regulatory risk under U.S. law. They also land yet another American tech company in the crossfire between the U.S. and China.