Mr Biden convened 40 leaders from the world’s most powerful countries to galvanise a global effort against the climate crisis, even securing commitments from Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
And Mr Trump, who pulled the US out of the Paris Agreement, denied the science of climate change and worked to undermine environmental regulations during his one-term presidency, was the target of implicit criticism from some.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “delighted” to see the United States “back to work together” on climate change after four years of Mr Trump’s leadership.
‘I am delighted to see that the United States is back — is back to work together with us in climate politics because there can be no doubt about the world needing your contribution if we really want to fulfil our ambitious goals,” said the German leader.
Mrs Merkel’s comments came as Joe Biden unveiled ambitious plans to cut emissions during the virtual White House summit.
Mr Biden told the summit that the US will aim to cut carbon emissions by as much as 52 per cent by 2030.
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, thanked Mr Biden for putting together the summit as she announced that the EU had earmarked 1.8 trillion euros for climate-related goals.
“It is so good to have the US back on our side in the fight against climate change,” said Ms von der Leyen.
“Together we can go faster and get further, and together we will win the future.”
Earlier Xi Jingping pledged his country’s commitment to a “green development,” saying China would achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 and peak carbon emissions by 2030.
“Not long ago the Chinese and US sides released a joint statement addressing the climate crisis,” he said.
“China looks forward to working with the international community including the US to jointly advance global environmental governance.”
Mr Putin told the summit that Russia was committed to carrying out a “large-scale campaign for environmental modernisation and greater energy efficiency across all economic sectors.”