President Biden has invited 40 world leaders to the Leaders Summit on Climate that he will host on April 22 and 23.
According to a statement from the White House, the summit will underscore the urgency and the economic benefits of stronger climate action, and act as a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow.
Hosting the conference fulfils a pledge made by the President in December, shortly before his inauguration, to convene the leaders of major economies for a climate summit within his first 100 days in office. Biden has made climate action a key focus of his new administration, with high profile initiatives including returning the U.S. to the Paris climate agreement on his first day in office, and the signing of executive actions aimed at promoting the transition to renewable energy. Since taking office, several federal agencies have also pivoted towards more proactive climate and sustainability-focused positions, including the Department of Labor, the SEC and the DOE.
The White House statement also said that the administration has committed to announce a 2030 emissions target as its Nationally Determined Contribution prior to the summit. Setting NDCs forms a key part of the commitments made by countries as part of their participation in the Paris Agreement.
The key themes of the summit will include galvanizing efforts by major economies to reduce emissions during the current decade, mobilizing public and private sector finance to drive the net-zero transition and to help vulnerable countries cope with climate impacts, the economic benefits of climate action, such as job creation, and spurring transformational technologies that can help reduce emissions and adapt to climate change, among others.
The invited world leaders included Presidents Xi Jinping of China and Vladimir Putin of Russia. When asked if he’d spoken to Xi and Putin, President Biden said:
“I haven’t yet, but they know they’re invited. But I haven’t invited — I haven’t spoken to either one of them yet individually.
“I just got off the phone speaking with the British Prime Minister. And yesterday, I spoke with all the members of the EU. So — but I haven’t spoken to those two.”