Biden’s climate summit: The list of who’s going (and who has yet to RSVP)

The US president has asked 40 world leaders to take part in the live-streamed summit beginning on Earth Day, 22 April

Louise Boyle
Senior Climate Correspondent, New York
Wednesday 21 April 2021 13:08 BST

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President Joe Biden has asked 40 world leaders to a virtual two-day summit to ramp up efforts in tackling the climate emergency, beginning on Earth Day, 22 April. 

Invitations have gone out to leaders of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, which total about 80 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Nations on the frontlines of the climate crisis, already facing more extreme weather and rising sea levels, have also been invited along with a number of nations championing climate action.

The list includes Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, a signal that the US is willing to put the climate crisis above even its most strained international relations. President Xi is expected to attend, according to a report, while Mr Putin remains a question mark.

For its part, the US is expected to announce a tougher 2030 emissions-reduction target ahead of the summit. The “nationally determined contribution” (NDC), as it’s known, is each nation’s short-term pledge on emissions and a required part of the Paris Agreement. The Biden administration has been urged by environmentalists and business leaders alike to slash admissions by at least half this decade.

The New York Times reported this week that ahead of the summit, the Biden administration was close to clinching tougher emissions reduction promises from Japan, South Korea and Canada. But deals had not yet been reached with China, India and Brazil who, along with the US, account for more than half of global emissions.

Some global leaders have publicly confirmed they will attend Mr Biden’s summit, seen as a key milestone ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, in Glasgow this November. The Independent has contacted representatives of others on the guest list.

Among those who have confirmed their attendance:

Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Antigua and Barbuda

President Alberto Fernandez, Argentina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh

President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil. He will attend the event, an embassy representative confirmed to The Independent

President Sebastián Piñera, Chile, was confirmed by his embassy to The Independent

President Xi Jinping, China. He is expected to attend, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday

President Iván Duque Márquez, Colombia, was confirmed by his embassy to The Independent. An official said they were “looking forward” to the event

President Félix Tshisekedi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. He will attend the virtual event, his embassy confirmed

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Denmark, was confirmed by her embassy to The Independent

President Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission, will attend on Thursday, a spokesperson confirmed

President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Gabon

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India

President David Kabua, Republic of the Marshall Islands

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico

Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Norway. She will attend the summit on the second day focused on innovation, her embassy confirmed to The Independent

President Andrzej Duda, Poland

President Moon Jae-in, Republic of Korea

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of Spain will be attending, according to his embassy

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, United Kingdom. The PM will be virtually attending and speaking at the summit, the British Consulate General confirmed to The Independent

Also on the list but yet to publicly confirm are:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Australia

Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, Bhutan

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada

President Charles Michel, European Council

President Emmanuel Macron, France

Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany

President Joko Widodo, Indonesia

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel

Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Italy

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Jamaica

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Japan

President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand

President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria

President Vladimir Putin, Russia

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey

President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, United Arab Emirates

President Nguyễn Phú Trọng, Vietnam

This article is being updated

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