Story at a glance:
- Biden is hosting a two-day virtual climate summit starting on Earth Day.
- Forty world leaders have been invited.
- The summit may serve as a test of Biden’s leadership on climate change.
President Biden is hosting a two-day virtual climate change summit starting on Earth Day, April 22. The summit, however, presents itself as a political and diplomatic risk if other countries do not pledge after Biden seeks to make America the forefront of world affairs.
The Washington Post reported that Biden faces scrutiny in his attempt to reenter the U.S. into climate-related emissions cuts. The event is going to be closely watched by activists and allies and will feature the meeting of approximately 40 leaders, including the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
"The president wanted to convene this summit early in his presidency to ensure close coordination with key players in the international community and at the highest levels of government," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
Biden rejoined the Paris climate accord, something former President Trump had exited as he signed a series of executive orders to roll back the Obama administration's environmental and climate decisions.
Though excited about the U.S., European allies are concerned about how committed the nation is, considering how volatile the American political environment has become.
"The rest of the world was deeply relieved [Biden rejoined the Paris accord]," Rachel Kyte, dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, said. "But the rest of the world also knows that the United States has a political system that means that it could leave again."
European allies are also looking for specific measures that come along with Biden’s ambitious ideas.
"It's always easier to be able to say, 'Do as we do, not do as we say,'" Kyte said.
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