Biden: 'Anyone Who Is Focused on the Environment Should Be Worried'

President Joe Biden appeared upbeat as his overseas trip came to an end on Tuesday, touting climate change initiatives and progress working with other countries.

But notably absent from the United Nations' climate change conference were two of the world's top countries contributing to the concerns—Russia and China. Biden said he viewed their absences as "a mistake."

"We showed up, and we've had a profound impact on the way I think the rest of the world is looking at the United States," Biden told reporters during a briefing in Glasgow, Scotland, before his return to Washington, D.C.

"They lost the ability to influence people around the world," he said.

Biden announced new climate initiatives during the summit—some of which will require buy in from Congress, which is deeply divided along party lines, so it's unclear how they will fare.

Biden's proposed expansion of the social safety net, dubbed his Build Back Better agenda, and a separate bipartisan infrastructure package both include additional policies for addressing climate change, including the proposed creation of a climate corps to deploy young people to projects battling climate change.

"We're making real progress here," Biden said.

He said he understands frustrations by climate activists who have spent recent days demonstrating outside of the summit. Environmental activists also have demonstrated outside the White House and the U.S. Capitol.

"I think anyone who is focused on the environment should be worried," he said. "We've got a lot more to do beyond what we've done."

Biden announced a series of new Environmental Protection Agency regulations targeting methane emissions that cause global warming.

More than 100 countries signed onto a pledge to end deforestation by 2030. Several countries also have agreed to drastically roll back emissions.

"We've not only gotten countries off the sideline in terms of making significant financial contributions, but literally trillions of dollars worth of the private sector jumping in," Biden said.

During a trip to Rome, Italy, before the Glasgow conference, Biden took part in the Group of 20 event where counties reached a largely symbolic agreement to keep the average global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, notably pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord—a move that Biden notably reversed just after taking office.

Biden had hoped to have a finalized agreement on his big-ticket agenda items before his trip as a show of the United States' efforts to restore its role in tackling climate change, but Democrats have been locked in negotiations on Capitol Hill to try to hammer out a final agreement.

Biden expressed optimism about getting U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat from West Virginia whose vote will be crucial to passing the Build Back Better proposal, on board with the package.

"I believe that Joe will be there," Biden said. "I think we'll get this done."

Biden heads back to US after COP26
President Joe Biden addresses a press conference at the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow on November 2, 2021. World leaders issued a multibillion-dollar pledge to end deforestation by 2030, but that date is too distant for activists who want action sooner to save the planet's lungs. Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images