Biden’s Invites to Virtual Climate Summit Include Putin, Xi

Biden’s Invites to Virtual Climate Summit Include Putin, Xi

17:03 - President Joe Biden included Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping among 40 world leaders he invited to a White House climate summit next month, showing he plans to include friends and foes in his administration’s first major international gathering.

The virtual summit will bring together 17 countries responsible for 80% of global emissions and gross domestic product, the White House said in a statement. It will be open to the public through a webstream, the White House said.

“By the time of the summit, the United States will announce an ambitious 2030 emissions target as its new Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement,” the White House said. “In his invitation, the president urged leaders to use the summit as an opportunity to outline how their countries also will contribute to stronger climate ambition.”

Biden’s April 22-23 summit is intended to accelerate global efforts to slash greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the use of fossil fuels. It helps fulfill a campaign pledge, after Biden put climate change at the center of his pitch to voters in 2020.

One of his first actions after his inauguration was to re-enter the Paris Agreement on climate that his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, sought to abandon.

Should Xi and Putin participate, it would be Biden’s first meeting as president with both leaders. He spoke to the Chinese and Russian heads of state on the phone in the weeks after he took office.

The summit is seen as a key opportunity for Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry to illustrate the U.S. commitment to fighting climate change after Trump’s withdrawal.

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