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Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

Japan on Thursday said it will seek to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 46% below 2013 levels by 2030, per the AP and other outlets.

Why it matters: The country is the world's fifth-largest largest carbon dioxide emitter and a major consumer of coal, oil and natural gas.

  • The new target under the Paris climate deal replaces a prior goal of a 26% reduction by 2030 and would require significant changes in its energy mix.
  • The announcement comes just ahead of the virtual White House climate summit that opens later Thursday where Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is slated to speak .

What they're saying: “Responding to climate change will be a driving force of Japan’s economic growth,” Suga told reporters in Japan, Bloomberg reports.

Yes, but: Pledges under the Paris agreement are non-binding.

What we're watching: Other climate announcements from the many countries taking part in the Thursday-Friday summit.

Go deeper: White House unveils plans for high-profile climate summit

Go deeper

White House unveils plans for high-profile climate summit

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Biden administration offered new details this morning about the big, virtual climate summit Thursday and Friday and signaled they expect new emissions reduction and climate finance commitments from multiple countries.

Driving the news: The administration said 40 heads of state would attend, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil.

Apr 21, 2021 - World

Pope Francis among dozens of leaders to speak at Biden climate summit

Pope Francis greeting then Vice President Joe Biden at the Vatican in April 2016. Photo: Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Pope Francis is set to speak during the first day of President Biden's virtual climate summit this week, according to a schedule of the event released by the Department of State on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Francis will be among dozens of world leaders to speak at the summit, which is meant to spur more ambitious emissions cuts from nations as the world remains off-course to achieve the global warming goals of the Paris climate agreement, Axios' Andrew Freedman reports.

Go deeper: China's Xi accepts invitation to Biden's climate summit

Apr 21, 2021 - World

China's Xi accepts invitation to Biden's climate summit

Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend President Biden's virtual climate summit this week, according to China's foreign ministry.

Why it matters: It'll mark the first time the two leaders have met face to face — albeit virtually — since Biden took office. China and the U.S. are the world's two largest carbon emitters.