White House virtual leaders’ summit on climate change kicks off

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Forty world leaders are expected to make firm commitments to lower their greenhouse gas emissions when they join a virtual White House Leaders Summit starting today.

US President Joe Biden is expected to commit to cutting US emission by at least 50% by 2030 while the EU has set a goal of a 55% cut by the end of the decade.

Countries will make their Nationally Determined Contributions public at the summit as the White House seeks to reassert it’s leadership on the global climate change agenda after former President Donald Trump withdrew the country from the Paris Climate Change Accord.

The UN wants countries to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 but the world’s largest polluter, China, has previously pledged to meet that mark in 2060.

Africa will be represented by the AU Chair and DRC President Felix Tshisekedi as well as the Presidents of South Africa, Nigeria, Gabon and Kenya.

The summit will also address global financing for climate mitigation and adaptation in a reinvigorated push as ambition has lagged since Paris in 2015.