President Joe Biden speaks on fighting climate change before signing executive measures while White House Climate Commissioner John Kerry and Vice President Kamala Harris listen in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, USA on January 27, 2021.
Kevin Lemarque | Reuters
President Joe Biden said Friday that Vladimir Putin from Russia and Xi Jinping from China are invited to the global leaders’ climate summit, which the government is hosting in April.
The president told reporters that he did not invite Putin or Xi directly, but said leaders “know they are invited,” an event the US is hosting to highlight global efforts to reduce climate change-related emissions to advance fossil fuels.
The White House later published a list of 40 world leaders invited to the summit, including Xi and Putin.
Biden said he spoke with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday and with EU member states on Thursday. The White House has preferred to speak to close US allies before turning to China and Russia.
The government plans to unveil a new target for CO2 emissions at the summit, which will be held remotely on April 22nd and 23rd. Biden promised to host the climate negotiations during his campaign and through an executive order in January. The summit will take place in Glasgow, Scotland, ahead of the UN global climate negotiations in November.
The USA is the second largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world after China. Russia is the fourth largest emitter. It is unclear whether Russia and China will accept invitations to the summit or are interested in working with the US to curb emissions.
The White House has announced that it will work with Russia and China on climate change on a number of other areas, despite mounting tensions between countries. The Biden administration has repeatedly identified Beijing and Moscow as the greatest national security threats to the US
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The Obama administration promised to cut U.S. emissions by up to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025, but former President Donald Trump halted federal efforts to meet that goal. The Biden government is expected to introduce a tougher target for the nation to be achieved by 2030.
The summit comes as Biden pledges to convert the U.S. economy to clean energy and reduce emissions from coal, natural gas, and oil. Biden reintroduced the US to the Paris Climate Agreement in January after Trump announced in 2017 that he would be pulling the country out.
Biden has announced that under the deal, the US will re-commit to its emissions reduction targets and lead efforts to help other nations update their own targets. The president has also vowed to put the US on a path to zero carbon electricity generation by 2035 and net zero emissions by 2050.