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U.S. President Joe Biden addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly on September 21, 2021. (Eduardo Munoz-Pool/Getty Images)

Staring down a "borderless climate crisis," President Biden told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that the U.S. will double public financial assistance to developing countries, including money to help them adapt to present-day climate impacts.

Why it matters: The failure of industrialized nations to fulfill a 2009 pledge to devote $100 billion annually to developing countries is a major impediment to a successful UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, which starts next month.

By the numbers: A report released this week by the OECD found a $20 billion gap between climate finance pledges and the $100 billion figure.

  • The U.S. had already pledged to provide $5.7 billion in public financial aid by 2024, and Biden said doubling that will make the country the global leader in providing public finance.

Yes, but: Public finance likely requires approval from Congress, which may pare back the proposed figure.

State of play: On Monday, about two-dozen leaders met behind closed doors at the UN for a frank exchange of views on the distrust between developed and developing nations heading into the Glasgow climate summit, known as COP26.

  • A member of a climate negotiating team who observed the meeting told Axios the session featured stark, uncharacteristic language for a meeting of heads of state, and made it clear how significant the divides are heading into Glasgow.

The bottom line: The upcoming summit is viewed by leaders as the world's last, best chance to ensure the Paris Agreement's temperature targets remain feasible. A key question is whether the new U.S. financial pledge will encourage other industrialized nations to step forward with their own added figures.

Go deeper

Greta Thunberg: “Strange” that Biden would be considered a leader in climate

Greta Thunberg. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Climate activist Greta Thunberg slammed the Biden administration on climate policy in an interview with the Washington Post Monday, saying that it's "strange" to consider Biden a leader in the arena "when you see what his administration is doing."

What she's saying: "The U.S. is actually expanding fossil fuel infrastructure," Thunberg said. "Why is the U.S. doing that?"

Updated 1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a powerful and potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring an array of hazards, from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten coastal property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Republican-led Pennsylvania court deems mail-in voting law unconstitutional

Workers count ballots for the 2020 Presidential election at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Nov. 3, 2020. Photo: Hannah Yoon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Republican-led Pennsylvania court on Friday ruled that the state's mail-in voting law is unconstitutional.

Driving the news: Three Republican judges sided with Republican challengers and ruled that no-excuse mail-in voting is prohibited under the state's constitution. Two Democrats on the panel dissented.