U.S. President Joe Biden will convene a virtual meeting of world leaders from major economies and greenhouse gas emitters on Friday to galvanize efforts to tackle the climate crisis, the White House said Wednesday.
The meeting will follow an online climate summit Biden hosted in April as part of a bid to demonstrate U.S. leadership on the issue in a shift from his predecessor Donald Trump, who withdrew the country from the Paris climate accord.
The White House did not disclose who will be attending the meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, saying it is currently receiving responses. The forum consists of 17 members, including the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter China as well as Japan.
The planned meeting, unlike the April summit, will not be livestreamed and will focus on having a "candid conversation" among world leaders about what needs to be done before and following a key U.N. climate change conference, also known as COP26, slated to start in late October in Britain, according to a Biden administration official.
Biden has committed to reducing U.S. emissions to 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, while other countries including Japan have also set enhanced emissions-reduction targets by 2030.
But Biden is expected to press again for stronger action to tackle climate change, the official said, given the latest scientific findings that underscored the need for the world to act with urgency.
A U.N. climate report released last month warned that unless there are "immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5 C or even 2 C will be beyond reach."
The 2015 Paris Agreement aims to keep rising global temperatures to "well below" 2 C -- and ideally closer to 1.5 C -- compared to preindustrial levels so as to limit the occurrence of droughts, floods, melting glaciers, rising sea levels and other results of global warming.