Thursday , 29 February 2024
Thursday , 29 February 2024

US President Joe Biden to miss COP28 climate summit in Dubai this week, Says White House official

  • 27 Nov, 2023

US President Joe Biden has decided against attending the Cop28 gathering of world leaders in Dubai this week, confirmed by a US official on Sunday.

This announcement follows an earlier report by The New York Times projecting Biden's absence from the climate-focused meeting.

Reuters had previously indicated that Biden's participation in the United Nations "Conference of the Parties" (COP28), set to commence on Thursday, was uncertain due to the pressing demands of ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and the anticipated intensification of his presidential campaign in January.

The White House released President Biden's schedule for Thursday, revealing his engagements including a bilateral meeting with President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço of the Republic of Angola and attendance at the National Tree Lighting event, highlighting conflicting commitments influencing his decision not to attend the COP28 in Dubai.

Despite Biden's absence, numerous countries are poised to advocate for an unprecedented global agreement aimed at phasing out carbon dioxide-emitting coal, oil, and gas during the Dubai meeting.

The US President had previously participated in both COP summits since assuming office in 2021. However, his non-appearance at this year's fortnight-long talks, hosted by the United Arab Emirates—a significant oil and gas producer—underscores the challenges in balancing international commitments amidst domestic and global concerns.

The upcoming event in Dubai expects participation from scores of world leaders, senior ministers, and officials representing 198 nations, along with an estimated 70,000 delegates. This gathering marks the largest annual COP held within the framework of the 1992 UN convention on Climate Change.

While UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is anticipated to attend, the opening speeches are slated to be delivered by King Charles, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, and His Holiness, the Pope. Additionally, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is confirmed to attend, with an invitation extended to Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria.

China's President Xi Jinping is not expected to be present at the talks.

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