President Joe Biden has invited Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin to be among 40 world leaders at a global summit on climate change next month.
The United States is currently clashing with China and Russia over election interference, cyber attacks, human rights, and other issues.
China is the world’s top emitter of carbon dioxide, followed by the United States, while Russia is No. 4.
“China is by far the world’s largest emitter. Russia needs to do more to reduce its emissions. Not including these countries because they aren’t doing enough would be like launching an anti-smoking campaign but not directing it at smokers,” Nigel Purvis, who worked on climate diplomacy in past Democratic and Republican administrations, told The Associated Press.
The list of 40 invited nations to the summit includes U.S. neighbors Canada and Mexico, as well as allies in Europe and Asia. It also includes Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, and South Africa. Biden also invited the leaders of countries that are "demonstrating strong climate leadership, are especially vulnerable to climate impacts, or are charting innovative pathways to a net-zero economy," the White House announced.
'Stronger Climate Action'The event will "underscore the urgency—and the economic benefits—of stronger climate action." It will be followed by the United Nations' global climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.
A key goal of the two events is to "catalyze efforts" to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to the White House.
"The summit will also highlight examples of how enhanced climate ambition will create good-paying jobs, advance innovative technologies, and help vulnerable countries adapt to climate impacts," the Biden administration announced.
Biden urged leaders to use the event as an opportunity to outline how their countries will also contribute to reducing emissions.
At the summit, the United States will also reconvene the Major Economies Forum, which will bring together a group of 17 countries that, according to the White House, are responsible for about 80 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions and global GDP.
The White House said that the United States will, by the time of the summit, have announced an "ambitious" 2030 target to reduce emissions from coal, natural gas, and oil, as part of its new "Nationally Determined Contribution" under the Paris Agreement.
Upon taking office, Biden had the United States rejoin the Paris Agreement, the 2015 United Nations framework that seeks to tackle climate change. The measure intends to limit global temperature increase to less than 2 degrees Celsius and preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.
The United States first joined the agreement during the final months of the Obama administration in 2016. Former President Donald Trump had the country formally withdraw from the agreement in November 2020, although he had announced the move in 2017 when he called the Paris Agreement a "global disaster" for the U.S. economy that was too lenient toward communist China and other countries that wouldn't be held to the same standards as the United States.