15:15 GMT20 April 2021
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    US President Joe Biden has said he wants to ensure that the United States attains a 100% clean energy economy and reaches net-zero emissions before 2050. Biden has already taken several steps to combat climate change by rejoining the Paris agreement and revoking the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

    The White House released a statement on Friday, revealing that 40 world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, are invited to the Leaders Summit on Climate set to be held on 22-23 April.

    "The Leaders Summit on Climate will underscore the urgency – and the economic benefits – of stronger climate action", the statement said. "In his invitation, the President urged leaders to use the Summit as an opportunity to outline how their countries also will contribute to stronger climate ambition."

    Key themes of the upcoming summit will be efforts by the world's economies to reduce carbon emissions, mobilizing public and private sector finance to drive the net-zero transition, the economic benefits of climate action, developing technologies that will help adapt to climate change and other issues.

    Speaking to reporters on Friday, US President Joe Biden confirmed that both Russian and Chinese leaders are invited to an upcoming summit.

    "They know they're invited. But I haven't spoken to either one of them yet,” Biden said when asked if he had invited Xi and Putin to next month's event.
    U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on tackling climate change prior to signing executive actions in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2021
    © REUTERS / KEVIN LAMARQUE
    U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on tackling climate change prior to signing executive actions in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2021

    Earlier in the day, The Associated Press reported, citing administration officials, that Biden will be inviting Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China to the first major climate talks of his administration: the Climate Leaders' Summit.

    The US-convened forum, to be held on April 22 and April 23, will include other major economies and will involve discussions on global efforts to curb fossil fuel pollution. The summit will most likely be remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “It’s a list of the key players and it’s about having some of the tough conversations and the important conversations,” an unidentified administration official told the outlet, speaking of the event. “Given how important … this issue is to the entire world, we have to be willing to talk about it and we have to be willing to talk about it at the high levels.”

    In January, Biden signed an executive order to have the US rejoin the Paris climate agreement, after former US president Donald Trump withdrew the US from the agreement in 2017. 

    The Paris Agreement is an international deal that was created within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2015. Countries that are part of the deal set limits on their greenhouse gas emissions, the primary cause of man-made climate change. 

    Other executive orders signed by the current US administration include conserving at least 30% of federal lands and oceans by 2030 and eliminating new oil and gas leases on public lands and waters.

    The administration has also promised to cut carbon emissions from the electricity industry by 2035 and restore scientific integrity in the federal government.

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    Tags:
    Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, climate change, Joe Biden
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