White House Announces Massive International Climate Summit with Bill Gates as Featured Speaker
By Erin Coates
Bill Gates is one of the many high-profile speakers who will be featured during the Biden administration’s virtual climate summit on Thursday and Friday.
Michael Bloomberg, Pope Francis and the heads of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the World Bank join Bill Gates on the extensive list of speakers.
Gates founded Breakthrough Energy in 2015 to support “the innovations that will lead the world to net-zero emissions,” according to the company’s website.
“We are encouraging the development of new net-zero energy technologies, championing policies that speed innovation from lab to market, and bringing together governments, research institutions, private companies, and investors to expand and enhance clean-energy investment,” the website reads.
Gates will be speaking on day two of the conference.
Forty heads of state are also expected to attend, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazil President Jair Bosonaro and Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“The Leaders Summit on Climate will underscore the urgency — and the economic benefits — of stronger climate action,” The White House said in a statement when President Joe Biden sent out invitations to the summit.
“In his invitation, the President urged leaders to use the Summit as an opportunity to outline how their countries also will contribute to stronger climate ambition.”
“We expect action at this meeting,” a senior official told reporters Wednesday.
“We’re looking for people to make announcements to raise their ambition to indicate next steps that they intend to be taking to help solve the climate problem and to work collectively to do so.”
Administration officials did not say what kind of emissions or climate finance commitments the United States will be making.
The United States is expected to commit to reducing emissions by at least 50 percent below 2005 emission levels by 2030, putting it near the top of emissions targets, according to Axios.
The European Union recently passed sweeping climate legislation overnight to slash its net greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030.
“Our political commitment to becoming the first climate neutral continent by 2050 is now also a legal commitment,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement.
The U.K. also announced its goal this week of cutting its emissions by 78 percent by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.
The summit is part of the Biden administration’s effort to rejoin worldwide efforts to reduce climate change. Biden signed an executive order to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement as one of his first acts as president.