US President Joe Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to the “Leaders’ Summit on Climate” he will host virtually on 22-23 April.

The summit will underscore the urgency and the economic benefits of stronger climate action. It will be a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow, the White House said.

President Biden took action his first day in office to return his country to the Paris Agreement.

Days later, on 27 January, he announced that he would soon convene a leaders’ summit to galvanise efforts by the major economies to tackle the climate crisis. Other world leaders invited to the summit include: Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netan-yahu, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

Apart from Modi, other South Asian leaders invited are: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh and Prime Minister Lotay Tshering of Bhutan.

In his invitation, Biden urged leaders to use the summit as an opportunity to outline how their countries also will contribute to stronger climate ambition.

In recent years, scientists have underscored the need to limit planetary warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in order to stave off the worst impacts of climate change.

A key goal of both the Leaders’ Summit and COP26 will be to catalyse efforts that keep the 1.5-degree goal within reach.

The summit will also highlight examples of how enhanced climate ambition will create good paying jobs, advance innovative technologies, and help vulnerable countries adapt to climate impacts.

By the time of the summit, the US will announce an ambitious 2030 emissions target as its new Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement.

The summit will reconvene the U.S.-led Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, which brings together 17 countries responsible for approximately 80 per cent of global emissions and global GDP.