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As Biden re-enters global climate conversation, Minnesota eyes potential impacts

President Biden's speech Monday came with a simple message to world leaders: The U.S. is back at the table and back in the fight against climate change.

MINNEAPOLIS — President Joe Biden landed in Scotland Monday to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

His speech Monday morning came with a simple message to world leaders: the U.S. is back at the table, and back in the fight against climate change.

"This is a decisive decade in which we have an opportunity to prove ourselves,” Biden said.

The nearly two-week long conference is seen as the most important climate change event since the Paris Climate Agreement.

Though there are many skeptics who believe nothing substantial will come out of the conference, others say what is decided in Glasgow over the next few days could be a game changer.

"The climate change problem is a tough problem. It's a tough problem. It's got tremendous consequences,” University of St. Thomas climate professor John Abraham said.

Abraham says the president’s mere presence at the event will send a strong message after the Trump administration pulled the U.S. away from the fight against climate change.

"If we are at the table, and if we are leaders, we can help craft the agreements that will not only solve the climate problem, but also bring jobs to the United States and Minnesota,” Abraham said.

“You absolutely want the United States to be in a leadership position.”

On top of that, if the Biden team can get Congress to approve his idea to set aside over $500 billion to fight climate change, Abraham says Minnesota is in a good place to land many of those jobs and could become a leader in renewable energy.

"It would jumpstart the industries that are providing solutions to the problem,” Abraham said.

Because making money and saving money are goals even skeptics can agree with, he says, and now technology has finally made that possible.

"Let's start getting on solutions and those solutions will bring jobs and industry to states like Minnesota. It's a no-brainer,” Abraham said.

There is also a Minnesota presence at the climate conference this year.

Patrick Hamilton, the director of climate change, energy and environment at the Minnesota Science Museum, is attending the European summit.

KARE 11 hopes to check in with him later this week for an update.

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