Washington: US President Joe Biden has extended invitations to 40 world leaders for an online summit on the climate crisis hosted by his administration next month — with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the guest list.
The White House said on Friday that the summit – scheduled for April 22 and 23 – is intended to underscore the urgency with which the world must act and highlight the economic benefits of going green, DPA news agency reported.
European leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson were invited.
So were Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The event is to be streamed live on the internet for public viewing.
The US will announce an “ambitious” new 2030 emissions target for the country by the time the summit gets under way, the White House said, part of Washington’s new push to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement.
Biden urged other leaders to use the summit as a forum in which to outline their own new, more forceful contributions. The next UN climate conference is in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.
In one of his first acts as president, Biden re-entered the US to the 2015 Paris accord, which was negotiated during the Obama administration’s final term in office, when Biden was vice president.
Former president Donald Trump took the US out of the accord in 2017, arguing that it put too many limits on what US businesses could do. Still, a long lag time meant that the US did not formally exit the deal until November 2020.
Biden named former secretary of state John Kerry as his special envoy for climate change, and gave him a role on the US National Security Council.
Kerry has been working to re-launch US-EU cooperation on climate, meeting with Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, among others.