President Joe Biden has invited his counterparts Xi Jinping of China and Russia’s Vladimir Putin to a virtual climate summit he is hosting in April, the White House announced on Friday.
In all, 40 world leaders including PM Narendra Modi have been asked to attend the two-day meeting meant to mark Washington’s return to the front lines of the fight against man-made climate change, after former president Donald Trump disengaged from the process.
Besides PM Modi, other leaders invited for the summit include Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“They know they’re invited,” Biden said of Xi and Putin. “But I haven’t spoken to either one of them yet.”
The start of the summit on April 22 coincides with Earth Day, and will come ahead of a major UN meeting on climate change scheduled for November in Glasgow, Scotland.
It is being staged entirely online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden kept his campaign pledge to rejoin the Paris climate agreement on his first day in the White House, after Trump pulled out of the deal.
The return of the world’s largest economy and second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide became effective on February 19, and means almost all the world’s nations are now parties to the agreement signed in 2015.
By the time of the summit, the US will have announced “an ambitious 2030 emissions target,” according to a White House statement, and will encourage others to boost their own goals under the Paris agreement too.
“The Summit will also highlight examples of how enhanced climate ambition will create good paying jobs, advance innovative technologies, and help vulnerable countries adapt to climate impacts,” the White House said in a statement.
The United States has invited the leaders of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, which includes the 17 countries responsible for about 80 percent of global emissions and GDP, as well as heads of countries that are especially vulnerable to climate impacts or are demonstrating strong climate leadership.
News Source: News18