The White House announced on Monday that President Joe Biden will not attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28 taking place on Friday and Saturday in Dubai. The United States will instead send climate envoy John Kerry and other top officials in Biden’s place at the conference, which includes the world leaders’ summit. Biden had participated in the last two summits. and his absence is expected to stand out among the 70,000 delegates who will be attendance. Among world leaders who have committed to the climate summit are Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
A White House spokesperson said in a statement: “Since day one, President Biden has led and delivered on the most ambitious climate agenda in history, both at home and abroad. He secured the largest climate investment ever, putting the U.S. on a path to cut climate pollution in half by 2030, protected more than 21 million acres of public lands and waters, and he continues to rally world leaders to raise their collective climate ambition.”
White House spokesman Angelo Fernández Hernández said that Biden could still appear at the conference the following week, however no additions to the president’s travel plans are planned: “although we don’t have any travel updates to share for the president at this time, the administration looks forward to a robust and productive COP28 where Special Envoy John Kerry, National Climate Adviser Ali Zaidi, and Senior Adviser John Podesta, among others, will continue to build on the administration’s historic actions to tackle the climate crisis.”
Editorial credit: ssi77 / Shutterstock.com