Washington: President Joe Biden has invited 40 heads of state, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to join him for the World Leaders Summit on Climate to be hosted by his administration on April 22-23.
The other leaders, including Presidents Xi Jinping of China and Vladimir Putin of Russia, European leaders Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson have also been invited to the virtual meeting to highlight the urgency of action to combat climate change, the White House said March 26.
“The Leaders Summit on Climate will underscore the urgency, and the economic benefits, of stronger climate action. It will be a key milestone on the road to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow,” the White House said.
The virtual summit will be live-streamed for people everywhere to watch the proceedings.
Biden has made fighting climate change a pillar of both his foreign and domestic policies and one of his first actions on taking office in January was to have the U.S. rejoin the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
The summit is meant to position Biden, and the U.S., as the global leader in meeting the climate change challenge and boost his stature.
“By the time of the summit, the U.S. will announce an ambitious 2030 emissions target as its new Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement for limiting the damage from climate change, the White House said.
Ahead of the summit, John Kerry, Biden’s international emissary for climate change, plans to visit India in early April. Other U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, have talked about working closely with India on climate change. In July last year Blinken said that common global challenges cannot be solved “without India as part of the deal.”
India will be under U.S. pressure to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by being shown as the world’s third-highest emitter of greenhouse gases after Beijing and Washington. However, that picture is misleading as on a per capita basis the U.S. emissions were nearly nine times that of India.
The Climate Summit will be Modi’s second multilateral virtual meeting with Biden. Earlier this month, Biden and Modi were joined by Prime Minister Yoshihide Sugo of Japan and Scott Morrison of Australia at a summit of the Quad.