On April 22 and 23, US President Joe Biden will convene the biggest diplomatic event in his administration: Climate Leaders Summit, designed to restore leadership. the US religion in the biggest crisis the planet is facing. Biden invited 40 heads of state and governments from around the world to participate in a two-day virtual discussion.
Among the 40 participating leaders, 12 were from Asia-Pacific countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Singapore, Korea. National and Vietnamese.
The Asia-Pacific region plays a particularly important role in the fight against climate change. China is the world’s largest emitter, accounting for more than 26% of global emissions (second is the United States, contributing less than half, at 12.7%). In total, eight Asia-Pacific countries are among the top 20 emitters in the world, according to data from World Resources Institute. Besides China as the largest emitter, there are India (fourth), Japan (sixth), Indonesia (eighth), South Korea (11th), Australia (14th), and Pakistan (18th). ) and Vietnam (20th). Together, these countries account for more than 44% of global emissions, meaning their cooperation will be crucial to combat climate change. And many of these countries are still developing economically, meaning the demand for electricity will increase. The decisions countries like India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam make as they seek to power their developing economies will resonate for decades.
All of the Asia-Pacific countries listed above received an invitation to attend the Climate Leaders Summit, with one notable exception: Pakistan. That went unnoticed in Islamabad, where some saw it as a rejection. “In Pakistan, public and upset government officials about the country being dropped from the summit despite the fact that Pakistan fifth vulnerable country due to climate change, ”Umair Jamal, Pakistan correspondent for The Diplomat, Note back in March. Experts told Jamal that the Biden administration is continuing a long tradition of viewing the Pakistan-US relationship purely through the lens of security – and specifically the Afghan conflict. Pakistan’s leaders are hoping to change that, but they won’t get a chance this week.
Fiji is another country stimulated by its exclusion. Pacific island nations are perhaps facing the most existential threat from climate change – the loss of their territory altogether – and have made it a featured topic in commitments. their internationalization. Before Biden was inaugurated, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama of Fiji extended an invitation to the future president of the United States to Fiji in August 2021 to attend the Pacific Islands Forum, on the issue of climate change. high on the agenda. As a result, some people in Fiji, as well as in Pakistan, read Biden’s first major climatic exclusion information. like an irritable guy.
However, the US government said the summit is focusing on the world’s biggest emitters, rather than the most vulnerable or outspoken ones. “The main objective of the Summit is to encourage the major economies of the world, and especially the early members of the Forum of Major Economies on Climate and Energy, to represent 80 % of global emissions and 80% of global GDP, to raise ambitions to keep the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach, summary of the summit Note.
But it added that “The President will bring other important voices into the conversation by inviting the leaders of countries that are key stakeholders in the climate war, including those that have demonstrate strong climate leadership, are particularly vulnerable to climate impacts, or are charting innovation pathways to a net-ness economy. “
In Asia, that category includes countries like New Zealand, Singapore, Marshall Islands, Bhutan and Bangladesh. For example, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will speak on “investment in climate solutions”, while Singapore Prime Minister Ly Hien Long will speak on “liberating climate innovation”. according to the official schedule. Meanwhile, the Marshall Islands was invited for its role in founding and co-chairing Alliance with high ambitions, helped advance the Paris Agreement and is now aiming to “play a key role in driving ambitions towards COP-26”. Bangladesh’s Sheikh Hasina has been recognized her leadership role of the Climate Vulnerability Forum and Bhutan is likely to be invited as its status is “Unrivaled carbon sinks“- The tiny Himalayan kingdom actually has negative emissions, thanks to the use of hydroelectricity and forested land.
The other countries on the list are also among Asia’s top emitters, so their contributions are needed to make meaningful emissions reduction commitments. It should also be noted that, of the 12 countries in Asia-Pacific whose leader was invited, all are close US partners or even official allies – except China. As the world’s top developer, China is unlikely to be excluded from such a gathering. To increase opportunities for meaningful participation from Beijing, US President Special Envoy John Kerry went to Shanghai to discuss with his Chinese counterpart last week. Even then, China has not officially confirmed Xi Jinping’s involvement until the day before the summit.
Meanwhile, some notable countries from Asia-Pacific where leaders do not receive an invitation will be represented at the ministerial level. The Fiji Economic Minister and Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Climate Change will both speak at the event, as well as the Thai Minister of Natural Resources and Environment and the Philippine Finance Minister.