Joe Biden will not attend the Cop28 climate meeting in Dubai, US official says | Joe Bidenthedigitalchaps


US President Joe Biden will not attend a gathering of world leaders focused on climate change in Dubai this week, a US official said on Sunday.

The announcement comes after the New York Times reported that Biden would not attend.

Reuters reported last month that he US president was unlikely to be at the United Nations “Conference of the Parties” on climate, known as Cop28, which begins on Thursday, as he balances the demands of a Middle East war and a presidential campaign expected to heat up in January.

The president’s schedule for Thursday released by the White House shows him hosting a bilateral meeting with President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço of the Republic of Angola and attending the National Tree Lighting.

Dozens of countries plan to push for the world’s first deal to phase out CO2-emitting coal, oil and gas at the Dubai meeting.

Biden has attended both of the Cop summits since his 2021 inauguration.

The fortnight-long talks will start this Thursday in Dubai, hosted by the United Arab Emirates, a major oil and gas-producing country. Scores of world leaders, senior ministers and officials from 198 countries will be in attendance, along with an estimated 70,000 delegates, making it the biggest annual Cop yet held under the 1992 UN framework convention on climate change.

The UK prime minister, Rishi Sunak, is expected to attend, and King Charles will give the opening speech, along with the UN secretary general, António Guterres, and the UAE president, Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. The pope will also be there, the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, and an invitation has been extended to Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria.

Xi Jinping of China is not expected to attend. Envoys for Biden and Xi have signalled their close cooperation before the talks.