What is the Leaders Summit on Climate?
As the U.S. Government reenters the global climate fight, President Biden convened this summit early in his presidency to ensure close coordination with key players in the international community at the highest levels of government. This summit aimed at setting the world up for success on multiple fronts as we work to address the climate crisis, including emissions reductions, finance, innovation and job creation, and resilience and adaptation.
The Summit was a key milestone on the road to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow and was designed to increase the chances for meaningful outcomes on global climate action at COP26. It reconvened the Major Economies Forum (MEF) on Energy and Climate, a U.S.-led initiative that played a vital role in delivering the Paris Agreement. In addition to the major economies, the President brought other crucial voices into the conversation by inviting leaders of countries that are key stakeholders in the climate fight, including those that have demonstrated strong climate leadership, are especially vulnerable to climate impacts, or are charting innovative pathways to a net-zero economy.
What are the key themes of the Summit?
- Galvanizing efforts by the world’s major economies to reduce emissions during this critical decade to keep the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degree Celsius within reach.
- Mobilizing public and private sector finance to drive the net-zero transition and to help vulnerable countries cope with climate impacts.
- The economic benefits of climate action, with a strong emphasis on job creation, and the importance of ensuring all communities and workers benefit from the transition to a new clean energy economy.
- Spurring transformational technologies that can help reduce emissions and adapt to climate change, while also creating enormous new economic opportunities and building the industries of the future.
- Showcasing subnational and non-state actors that are committed to green recovery and an equitable vision for limiting warming to 1.5 degree Celsius, and are working closely with national governments to advance ambition and resilience.
- Discussing opportunities to strengthen capacity to protect lives and livelihoods from the impacts of climate change, address the global security challenges posed by climate change and the impact on readiness, and address the role of nature-based solutions in achieving net zero by 2050 goals.
Who did the President invite to the Summit?
The primary objective of the Summit was to encourage the world’s major economies—and especially the original members of the Major Economies Forum on Climate and Energy, which together represent 80 percent of global emissions and 80 percent of global GDP—to enhance ambition to keep the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach. To ensure the Summit captured as many diverse viewpoints as possible, the United States invited additional countries that are key voices in the climate fight—for example, some that are especially vulnerable to climate impacts or that are charting particularly innovative pathways to a net-zero economy.
The United States seeks to engage all countries to explore areas for cooperation on addressing the climate crisis. The Summit is only one of several major climate-related events in the run-up to COP-26, which will be a global event. We look forward to working with governments around the world to raise the level of global ambition to meet the climate challenge and welcome public statements from all governments in support of the Summit’s objective of enhancing global ambition on climate change.
The President invited the following leaders to participate in the Summit:
- Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Antigua and Barbuda
- President Alberto Fernandez, Argentina
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Australia
- Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh
- Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, Bhutan
- President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada
- President Sebastián Piñera, Chile
- President Xi Jinping, People’s Republic of China
- President Iván Duque Márquez, Colombia
- President Félix Tshisekedi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Denmark
- President Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission
- President Charles Michel, European Council
- President Emmanuel Macron, France
- President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Gabon
- Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India
- 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
- President David Kabua, Republic of the Marshall Islands
- President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico
- Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand
- President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria
- Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Norway
- President Andrzej Duda, Poland
- President Moon Jae-in, Republic of Korea
- President Vladimir Putin, The Russian Federation
- King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore
- President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa
- President Pedro Sánchez, Spain
- President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey
- President Sheikh Khalifabin Zayed Al Nahyan, United Arab Emirates
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson, United Kingdom
- President Nguyễn Phú Trọng, Vietnam