Status: 26.03.2021 10:01 p.m.
After more than four years, the US wants to set the tone again when it comes to climate protection. For this reason, President Biden invites to an online summit in April. The presidents from Russia and China should also take part.
US President Joe Biden invites the heads of state and government of China, Russia and three dozen other countries to an online climate summit. Biden said that although he has not yet spoken to Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin about it – “they know they are invited”.
According to the US Presidential Office, a total of 40 international politicians have been invited to the virtual conference on the annual “Earth Day” on April 22nd and 23rd, including Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The next UN climate conference will follow in Glasgow in November.
According to the White House, 17 states are represented, which are responsible for 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as states that are leaders in the fight against climate change – or that are particularly affected by the consequences. According to the information, the summit is intended to underline the urgency of stronger measures for climate protection and their economic benefits. Before that, the US would announce “an ambitious emissions target” for 2030 as a new contribution to the Paris Climate Agreement.
Climate policy high on the agenda
It is the first time in more than four years that the US has again participated in climate talks at the highest political level. Ex-President Donald Trump had resigned from the Paris Climate Protection Agreement of 2015 with one of his first acts and had also discontinued the US-hosted conferences on climate protection with large economies held by his predecessors Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
With his own summit, Biden wants to mark the return of Washington to the forefront in the fight against climate change. Already during the election campaign he declared climate policy to be one of his most important priorities, and immediately after taking office he ordered the re-entry into the climate protection agreement. The president intends to announce new, significantly stricter limit values for emissions from coal, natural gas and oil shortly.
Tense relations with Russia and China
Biden urged other heads of state and government to use the online meeting to make increased contributions as well. US government circles reported that the usual allies were deliberately not only invited to the discussion forum. The topic of climate protection is extremely important for the entire world, which is why it must be discussed at the highest level.
At the moment, the USA has an extremely tense relationship with Russia and China, which have also been invited. The US and its allies decided to sanction China for suppressing the Muslim Uyghur minority. In an interview, Biden also affirmed the question of whether he considered Putin a “killer” and threatened Russia with new sanctions because the country had tried to influence the presidential election. The governments in Beijing and Moscow reject the allegations.