US President Joe Biden has invited 40 heads of state, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to join him for the World Leaders Summit on Climate to be hosted by his administration on April 22-23.

The other leaders including Presidents Xi Jinping of China and Vladimir Putin of Russia, and Prime Ministers Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh and Lotay Tshering of Bhutan have also been invited to the virtual meeting to highlight the urgency of action to combat climate change, the White House said on Friday.

European leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson were invited.

pm modi joe biden

So were Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Full list of world leaders invited by Biden

  1. Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Antigua and Barbuda
  2. President Alberto Fernandez, Argentina
  3. Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Australia
  4. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh
  5. Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, Bhutan
  6. President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil
  7. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada
  8. President Sebastiån Pifiera, Chile
  9. President Xi Jinping, People's Republic of China
  10. President Ivån Duque Mårquez, Colombia
  11. President Félix Tshisekedi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  12. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Denmark
  13. President Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission
  14. President Charles Michel, European Council
  15. President Emmanuel Macron, France
  16. President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Gabon
  17. Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany
  18. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India
  19. President Joko Widodo, Indonesia
  20. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel Prime Minister
  21. Mario Draghi, Italy
  22. Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Jamaica
  23. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Japan
  24. President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya
  25. President David Kabua, Republic of the Marshall Islands
  26. President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mexico
  27. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand
  28. President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria
  29. Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Norway
  30. President Andrzej Duda, Poland
  31. President Moon Jae-in, Republic of Korea
  32. President Vladimir Putin, The Russian Federation
  33. King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  34. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore
  35. President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa
  36. Prime Minister Pedro Sånchez, Spain
  37. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey
  38. President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, United Arab Emirates
  39. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, United Kingdom
  40. President Nguyén Phfi Trong, Vietnam

Leaders Summit on Climate

"The Leaders Summit on Climate will underscore the urgency, and the economic benefits, of stronger climate action. It will be a key milestone on the road to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow," the White House said.

The virtual summit will be live-streamed for people everywhere to watch the proceedings.

Biden has made fighting climate change a pillar of both his foreign and domestic policies and one of his first actions on taking office in January was to have the US rejoin the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

The summit is meant to position Biden, and the US, as the global leader in meeting the climate change challenge and boost his stature.

Joe Biden
Joe BidenIANS

"By the time of the summit, the US will announce an ambitious 2030 emissions target as its new Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement for limiting the damage from climate change, the White House said.

Biden has asked all US government agencies to come up with ways to cut greenhouse emissions and harness green energy.

He appointed former Secretary of State John Kerry to be his international emissary for climate change reflecting the high priority it has on his agenda.

He is reaching out to the leaders of China and Russia, who he has harshly criticised over their human rights record and their international rivalry with the US to work together on the climate agenda despite their differences.

Biden wants countries around the world to take steps to limit emissions to a level that would limit planetary warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius "in order to stave off the worst impacts of climate change", the White House said.

"The President urged leaders to use the Summit as an opportunity to outline how their countries also will contribute to stronger climate ambition."

India under US pressure

India will be under US pressure to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by being shown as the world's third-highest emitter of greenhouse gases after Beijing and Washington.

However, that picture is misleading as on a per capita basis the US emissions were nearly nine times that of India.

An Indian emitted only 1.96 tonnes of greenhouse gases in a year, while an American was responsible for 16.56 tonnes.

Earth day 2020 theme: climate change
Earth day 2020 theme: climate change

For all the posturing and preaching, Biden or the climate change activists in the US are not going to bring down the US per capita emissions anywhere near the Indian level while demanding that India cut down its emissions overall.

India is already promoting green energy to eventually eliminate fossil fuel-generated electricity.

It is reportedly working on a goal of achieving a net-zero emissions by 2050. Net-zero emission is achieved by removing all greenhouse gases that are put out by various means ranging from aforestation to technologies to capture the emissions.

The Climate Summit will be Modi's second multilateral virtual meeting with Biden.

Earlier this month, Biden and Modi were joined by Prime Minister Yoshihide Sugo of Japan and Scott Morrison of Australia at a summit of the Quad.

(With inputs from IANS)