Bill Gates, dozens of world leaders to attend Biden climate summit

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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 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.

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 to 1.5 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.

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 United States 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 United States back into the accord at the beginning of his administration in January and the White House plans to unveil a new commitment to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 shortly. Sources familiar with the matter expect the administration to pledge to cut U.S. emissions around 50% compared with 2005 levels.

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” program 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.

Photo: Bill Gates, co-Chairman of the Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation. EPA-EFE/FRANCK ROBICHON