Biden convenes world leaders to discuss climate change ahead of Glasgow summit

By Jeff Mason

© Reuters/Yara Nardi Italian alpine rescuers climb a frozen waterfall in Malga Ciapela

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden convenes world leaders on Friday for a discussion about intensifying efforts to tackle climate change, seeking to build momentum ahead of an international summit on global warming later this year.

Biden will hold a virtual meeting of the Major Economies Forum (MEF) from the White House in a follow-up to an Earth Day meeting he hosted in April to unveil new U.S. greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and press other countries to do more to curb theirs.

Biden has been emphasizing climate change repeatedly in recent weeks in the wake of damage from devastating floods and wildfires across the United States.

Tackling the issue is one of his top domestic and international priorities, and the U.N. COP26 climate conference in Glasgow from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12 is seen as a critical moment for the world to commit to doing more to halt rising temperatures.

Video: Biden announces new defense alliance with Australia, Britain to counter China (The Washington Post)

Biden is hoping to rally big emitters to help make COP26 a success.

The White House did not release the names of the countries participating in the Friday meeting. The April meeting included remarks from China’s President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other top world leaders.

The White House said this week Biden hoped to use the MEF after the U.N. summit to continue to push for climate work.

“The president … will outline plans to leverage the MEF post-Glasgow as a launchpad for collective, concrete efforts scaling up climate action through this decisive decade,” it said in a statement.

Biden announced in April a new target to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 50%-52% by 2030 compared with 2005 levels. The Friday meeting may focus especially on methane. The United States and the European Union have agreed to aim to cut methane emissions by around a third by the end of this decade and are pushing other major economies to join them, according to documents seen by Reuters.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; editing by Richard Pullin)

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