WATCH: President Biden and UK Prime Minister Johnson pledge climate option

U.S. President Joe Biden and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson underscored their commitment to tackling climate change Tuesday, during a White House meeting after both addressed the U.N. General Assembly earlier in the day.

Watch the meeting in the player above.

Biden said he made clear in his U.N. speech that “the climate has to be the core area of action for all of us.”

Johnson praised Biden for placing the issue so high on his agenda, saying “it’s fantastic to see the United States really stepping up and and showing a lead, a real, real lead.”

The British Prime Minister also thanked Biden for working to lift the ban on British beef and on travel for Europeans who have received two doses of the COVID vaccine.

He made passing reference in his remarks to the new security alliance that paved the way for the submarine deal causing diplomatic strife between the U.S. and France.

Johnson said that creation of the alliance, dubbed AUKUS, has “great potential to benefit the whole world.” The British leader made no mention of the French uproar.

The two leaders also bonded over their shared love of trains. Biden famously rode Amtrak almost daily between his home in Wilmington, Delaware, and Washington during his 36 years as a U.S. senator.

Johnson hopped aboard an Amtrak train in New York City Tuesday, to get to the meeting with Biden.

“You came down on Amtrak, is that right?” Biden asked Johnson during their Oval Office meeting.

Johnson replied that he, in fact, did. “And you are a living deity on Amtrak, I can tell you,” he replied.

Biden joked that he has traveled so many miles on Amtrak — millions, he says an Amtrak conductor once told him — that “if I were a conductor I’d be number one in seniority.”

Asked about the Northern Ireland protocols, Biden warned Johnson that he feels “very strongly’ that there should not be a change to the accords, resulting in a closed border.

“I would not of all like to see nor, I might add, would many of my Republican colleagues like to see a change in the Irish records and the end result, having a close border again,” Biden said.

 

Support PBS NewsHour: