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US invites Russian, Chinese leaders to climate summit in April

President Joe Biden speaks to State Department employees, Feb. 4, 2021. (State Department/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

U.S. President Joe Biden has invited the leaders of China and Russia to a climate summit he is hosting in April, despite deep differences with the two countries on a host of other issues.

Presidents Xi Jinping of China and Vladimir Putin of Russia are among 40 world leaders invited to the two-day virtual summit, meant to highlight the United States’ renewed commitment to stemming climate change, the White House said on March 26.

The start of the summit on April 22 coincides with Earth Day and will “underscore the urgency — and the economic benefits — of stronger climate action,” the White House said.

The gathering is expected to build towards the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow, Scotland.

Biden rejoined the Paris climate agreement on his first day in the White House, reversing former President Donald Trump’s exit from the landmark accord.

The White House has said that climate change is one area where it may be possible to cooperate with China and Russia, even as ties are strained over many other issues.

The United States is the world’s largest economy and second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide after China.