Bill Gates, world leaders to attend Biden climate summit: source

Reuters Washington | Updated on April 21, 2021

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates   -  Reuters

The virtual event paves the way for another global summit in November

Bill Gates will address a climate summit hosted by President Joe Biden this week and nearly all of the 40 world leaders that were invited have confirmed they will attend, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Microsoft Corp co-founder and philanthropist Gates will address the second day of the summit, which kicks off virtually on Thursday and will conclude on Friday.

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The White House event paves the way for another global summit in November in the Scottish city of Glasgow that aims to ensure the world meets a goal of limiting planetary warming to1.5 degrees Celsius.

French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson are among the leaders of countries that contribute the most to emissions who will speak.

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Top priority

Biden has made fighting climate change a top domestic and international priority and this week’s summit is a chance for him to convince his counterparts that the US is back as a leader on the issue after former President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement to cut global emissions.

Biden brought the US back into the accord at the beginning of his administration in January and the White House plans to unveil a new commitment to cut US greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 shortly. Sources familiar with the matter expect the administration to pledge to cut US emissions around 50 per cent compared with 2005 levels.

Topics on the agenda

On Thursday, major economies will discuss those climate change commitments, according to the source familiar with the plan. Finance, the role of capital markets, adaptation and resilience to climate change will also be discussed.

On Friday, the president’s “Build Back Better” programme will be in focus. Biden has made clear he sees fighting climate change as an opportunity to create jobs, and his infrastructure Bill includes funding that is critical to his administration’s plan to reduce greenhouse gases.

Innovation in clean energy and “industries that have yet to be created” will also be discussed. Gates will address that broad topic with his remarks. The software developer has invested some $2 billion toward the development of clean technologies.

Published on April 21, 2021

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