Biden invites Russia and China to first global climate talks

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden will include rivals Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China among the guests at his administration’s first major climate talks, an event the United States hopes will help shape, accelerate and deepen global efforts to reduce climate-destroying fossil fuel pollution, administration officials told The Associated Press.

The president is seeking to revive a US-convened forum of the world’s major economies on climate that George W. Bush and Barack Obama used and Donald Trump let languish. Leaders of some of the world’s most affected by climate change, benefactors and repeat offenders complete the rest of the 40 invitations to be delivered on Friday. It will take place virtually on April 22 and 23.

Holding the summit will fulfill a campaign commitment and executive order from Biden, and the administration is syncing the event with its own upcoming announcement of what is a much tougher American goal to revamp the US economy. To dramatically reduce coal, natural gas and oil emissions.

The session, and whether it’s talks or progress, will test Biden’s promise to make climate change a priority among competing political, economic, political and pandemic issues. It will also pose a very public – and potentially embarrassing or empowering – test of whether American leaders, and Biden in particular, can still drive global decision-making after the Trump administration withdrew globally and shook long-standing alliances.

The Biden administration intentionally looked beyond its international partners for talks, an administration official said.

“It’s a list of the key players and it’s about having some of the tough conversations and the important conversations,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss US plans for the event. “Given the importance … that this issue is for everyone, we have to be willing to talk about it and we have to be willing to talk about it at the highest levels.”

Trump scoffed at the science behind urgent warnings about global warming and the worsening resulting from droughts, floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters. It pulled the United States out of the 2015 UN Paris climate accords as one of its first actions. That makes next month’s summit the first major international climate discussion by an American leader in more than four years, though leaders in Europe and elsewhere have held talks.

US officials and a few others give the Obama administration’s major economies’ climate discussions some of the credit for laying the groundwork for the Paris agreement. The United States and nearly 200 other governments in those talks set targets to reduce their fossil fuel emissions and pledged to monitor and report their emissions. Another Biden administration official said the United States is still deciding how far the administration will go to set a more ambitious US emissions target.

The Biden administration hopes that the scenario provided by next month’s Earth Day climate summit, planned to be all virtual due to COVID-19 and all publicly visible on live stream, including break-up talks, will encourage others. international leaders to use it as a platform to announce their own countries’ stricter emissions targets or other commitments, ahead of the UN global climate talks in November in Glasgow.

More broadly, the administration hopes the session will help push governments to advance specific and politically bearable ways to restructure their transportation and energy sectors and economies in general now to meet those more difficult future goals.

The US summit isn’t just about “the deliverables, it’s really about engaging at the leader level … sending a signal from the US perspective on how serious we are and putting our own cards on. the table significantly, “the first official said, referring to Biden’s upcoming announcement about a more aggressive US emissions target. “And waiting for countries to join us.”

Like the climate forums of the major Bush and Obama economies, Biden’s guest list includes leaders from the world’s largest European economies and blocs. That includes two countries, Russia and China, that Biden and his diplomats are up against, over election interference, cyberattacks, human rights and other issues. It is unclear how those two particular countries will respond to invitations from the US, or if they are willing to cooperate with the US to cut emissions while grappling with other issues. China is the world’s leading emitter of climate-damaging pollution. America is number 2. Russia is number four.

Brazil is listed as a top economy, but it’s also one of the top climate repeat offenders under President Jair Bolsonaro, who derailed preservation efforts in the carbon-sucking Amazon and joined Trump in trampling on commitments. international climatic conditions.

The 40 guests also include leaders from countries facing some of the most serious immediate threats, including the lowlands of Bangladesh and the Marshall Islands, countries considered to be models of good climate behavior, including Bhutan and some Scandinavian countries, and African nations with oversized carbon sinks. forests or large oil reserves. Poland and some other countries on the list are considered possibly open to moving away more quickly from dirty coal energy.

Biden, as a candidate, pledged to invest $ 2 trillion to help transform the US into a zero-emissions economy by 2050, while creating clean energy and technology jobs. Biden and other administration officials have been emphasizing America’s climate intentions during early one-on-one talks with foreign leaders, and Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry has focused on accelerating emissions cuts internationally in diplomacy. abroad.


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