A global summit convened in Glasgow, Scotland, widely seen as the most important international climate negotiations since the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord, began on Monday with speeches by world leaders, including President Biden, who warned that climate change is “ravaging the world.” In remarks at a smaller meeting just after his formal speech, he apologized for the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accord under former president Donald Trump. “I guess I shouldn’t apologize, but I do apologize,” he said.

Here’s what to know

  • The overarching goal of the summit, known as COP26, is to put the world on a path to aggressively cut greenhouse gas emissions and slow Earth’s warming. Negotiations will take place over two weeks, but the two-day leaders’ summit begins Monday, with about 120 heads of state and government scheduled to attend.
  • In a show of force — after the Trump administration was virtually invisible at international climate talks — the vast majority of Biden’s Cabinet is in Glasgow, along with a sizable delegation of career officials.
  • Chinese leader Xi Jinping offered no new commitments in a written statement. Xi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are not attending the negotiations in person.
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in remarks delivered Monday, committed India to “net zero” emissions by 2070, two decades later than many advocates had hoped.