Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is among several world leaders invited to the first big climate talks of U.S. President Joe Biden‘s administration.
The event also includes invites to Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping.
According to U.S. administration officials, the event will be one the U.S. hopes will help shape, speed up and deepen global efforts to cut climate-wrecking fossil fuel pollution.
The president is seeking to revive a U.S.-convened forum of the world’s major economies on climate that George W. Bush and Barack Obama both used and Donald Trump let languish.
Leaders of some of the world’s top climate-change sufferers, do-gooders and backsliders round out the rest of the 40 invitations being delivered Friday. It will be held virtually on April 22 and 23.
Hosting the summit will fulfil a campaign pledge and executive order by Biden, and the administration is timing the event with its upcoming announcement of what’s a much tougher U.S. target for revamping the U.S. economy to sharply cut emissions from coal, natural gas and oil.
The session – and whether it’s the talk or some progress – will test TT Biden’s commitment to prioritizing climate change among political, economic, policy and pandemic issues. are competing.
It will also pose a very public test – as to whether U.S. leaders and specifically TT Biden, can still drive global decision-making after the former Trump administration’s withdrawal. across the globe and rock alliances or not.
The Biden administration hopes the stage provided by next month’s Earth Day climate summit — planned to be all virtual because of COVID-19 and all publicly viewable on live stream, including breakout conversations — will encourage other international leaders to use it as a platform to announce their own countries’ tougher emission targets or other commitments, ahead of November’s U.N. global climate talks in Glasgow.
The administration hopes more broadly the session will help galvanize governments on getting moving on specific, politically-bearable ways to retool their transportation and power sectors and overall economies now to meet those tougher future targets.
Like the climate forums of the major economies of former US presidents Bush and Obama, President Biden’s invitation list includes leaders of the world’s biggest economies and European blocs.
This includes two countries – Russia and China – that TT Biden and his diplomats are at odds with, over election meddling, cyberattacks, human rights and other issues.
That includes two countries — Russia and China — that Biden and his diplomats are clashing against, over election interference, cyber-attacks, human rights and other issues. It’s not clear how those two countries, in particular, will respond to the U.S. invitations, or whether they are willing to co-operate with the U.S. on cutting emissions while sparring on other topics.
China is the world’s top emitter of climate-damaging pollution. The U.S. is No. 2. Russia is No. 4.
Brazil is on the list as a major economy, but it’s also a major climate backslider under President Jair Bolsonaro, who derailed preservation efforts for the carbon-sucking Amazon and joined Trump in trampling international climate commitments.
The 40 invitees also include leaders of countries facing some of the gravest immediate threats, including low-lying Bangladesh and the Marshall Islands, countries seen as modelling some good climate behaviour, including Bhutan and some Scandanavian countries, and African nations with variously big carbon sink forests or big oil reserves.
Poland and some other countries on the list are seen as possibly open to moving faster away from dirty coal power.
President Biden as a candidate pledged $2 trillion in investment to help transform the U.S. into a zero-emission economy by 2050 while building clean-energy and technology jobs.
President Biden and other administration officials have been stressing U.S. climate intentions during early one-on-one talks with foreign leaders, and Biden climate envoy John Kerry has focused on speeding up emissions cuts internationally in diplomacy abroad.
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