Xi Jinping set to attend online climate change summit at Joe Biden's invitation

Climate change is an area of common interest.

Kayla Wong | April 21, 2021, 11:52 AM

Chinese President Xi Jinping will be attending a virtual climate change summit hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a statement on Wednesday, Apr. 21, that Xi would attend the summit at Biden's invitation, and would deliver "an important speech" there.

The summit will be livestreamed and made available for the public to view.

According to Reuters, which cited a source familiar with the matter, nearly all of the 40 world leaders invited have confirmed that they will attend the summit.

Climate change cooperation

The summit will mark the first time the two leaders are meeting since the start of the Biden administration.

The summit follows a meeting between Chinese climate envoy Xie Zhenhua and his U.S. counterpart, John Kerry in Shanghai.

According to a joint statement released on Apr. 17, they affirmed their commitment to cooperating with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis.

The talks mark a resumption of climate talks between the world's two biggest greenhouse gas emitters.

Biden, who has made fighting climate change a top priority both domestically and internationally, is also expected to pledge to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least half by the end of the decade, The Washington Post reported.

Previously, on his first day in office, he signed an executive order that brought the U.S. back into the Paris Climate Agreement, along with others that rolled back former President Trump's policies.

The U.S. under Trump had previously formally withdrawn from the global pact in November 2020, three years after first voicing his intention to do so.

Climate change is seen as an area of common interest between China and the U.S. which they can work together on.

Top image via Getty Images