President Biden to Miss COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai

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Washington DC, Nov 27: President Joe Biden will not attend the upcoming UN climate summit, COP28, in Dubai, breaking a two-year streak of his participation in the talks aimed at showcasing U.S. leadership on climate issues. The White House released schedules for both President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, revealing no plans for their attendance in Dubai.

Instead, President Biden will focus on domestic engagements, including a trip to Colorado to emphasize U.S. investments in wind energy, a meeting with the president of Angola, and participating in the lighting of the national Christmas tree. The decision not to attend COP28 was confirmed by a U.S. official, who mentioned ongoing discussions within the Biden administration about potentially sending a top-level official to represent the U.S.

John Kerry, the U.S. climate envoy, former secretary of state, and senator, will lead day-to-day negotiations for the United States at COP28. The official did not provide a specific reason for President Biden’s absence, but recent priorities, including the Israel-Hamas conflict and the emphasis on his domestic agenda with less than a year to the U.S. presidential election, were mentioned.

President Biden had attended COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, where he pledged renewed U.S. global leadership on climate issues after his predecessor, Donald Trump, withdrew from the Paris climate accord. Trump, who is seeking re-election, holds a skeptical stance on climate action, citing concerns about the costs to the United States.

Despite not attending COP28, President Biden continues to prioritize climate issues domestically, with legislative efforts like the Inflation Reduction Act directing significant funds toward the green economy, including incentives for electric cars. Ahead of COP28, John Kerry engaged in extended talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, with both negotiators committing to collaborative efforts between the world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters for progress in Dubai.

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