President Bush is inviting the world's largest economies to participate in a meeting to promote greater global energy security and, it is hoped, to combat climate change.
Citing the need for nations to work together to fight greenhouse gases and promote energy security, President Bush sent invitations to leaders of 15 nations plus the United Nations and the European Union.
The proposed two-day gathering will take place in Washington in late September.
Leaders of participating nations are being asked to send high-level representatives to the meeting, which aims to lay the foundation for a global energy accord that would be finalized by the end of next year.
In the invitation, President Bush stressed the need for nations to work with the private sector to develop so-called "clean technologies" that boost energy supplies and capacities with little or no negative effect on the environment.
White House spokesman Scott Stanzel says the information gained from White House meeting should prove helpful to work being done by the United Nations on climate change.
"This effort is intended to aid the U.N. process that is ongoing. We expect the results in 2008 from these major economies to contribute to the global agreement under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change by 2009. So we think it [the Washington meeting] can enhance that process."
Invitees to the gathering include Western Europe's largest economies, along with Russia, India, China, Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia.
South Africa is the only African nation on the list, while Latin America would be represented by Mexico and Brazil.
The Bush administration has faced sharp criticism from the world community, including several longstanding allies, for pulling the United States out of the Kyodo Protocol that sets carbon emissions caps for leading industrialized nations but spares many developing ones.
White House officials deny any suggestion that next month's meeting is designed to distract attention from the president's continued opposition to imposing limits on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions that most scientists believe contribute to global warming.