President Joe Biden is including rivals Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China among the people he has invited to the first big climate talks of his administration, an event the US hopes will help shape, speed up and deepen global efforts to cut climate-wrecking fossil fuel pollution, administration officials said.
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 both used and Donald Trump let languish.
It will be held on April 22 and 23.
Hosting the summit will fulfil a campaign pledge and executive order by Mr Biden, and the administration is timing the event with its own upcoming announcement of what’s a much tougher US target for revamping the US economy to sharply cut emissions from coal, natural gas and oil.
The Biden administration intentionally looked beyond its international partners for the 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.
“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.”
Mr Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 UN Paris climate accords as one of his first actions.
That makes next month’s summit the first major international climate discussions by a US leader in more than four years, although leaders in Europe and elsewhere have kept up talks.