Biden Skips Cop28 Climate Summit

President Joe Biden is skipping the Cop28 climate summit — a move that could harm his reputation among young voters in the 2024 election.

An unnamed White House official confirmed Mr Biden’s absence from this year’s two-week conference in the United Arab Emirates. The New York Times On Sunday.

No reason was given for his absence, but senior Biden administration officials have indicated that the ongoing Israel-Hamas war is taking up the president’s time and energy.

“They have a war in the Middle East and a war in Ukraine, a few things going on,” John Kerry, the Biden administration’s special envoy for climate change, told reporters earlier when asked about Mr Biden’s Cop28 plans.

Cop28 kicks off on Thursday (November 30), with 70,000 delegates from 200 countries expected to attend.

Among the high-profile attendees will be King Charles III and Pope Francis, who insisted on Sunday that he will still attend despite suffering from pneumonia.

Vice President Kamala Harris is not expected to attend Cop28.

However, several top US officials, including Mr Kerry, National Climate Adviser Ali Zaidi and Senior Adviser John Podesta, represent US interests in the global effort to tackle the climate crisis.

According to Mr Biden’s schedule released by the White House on Sunday, he will hold a bilateral meeting with Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lorenzo this Thursday and then participate in the national Christmas tree lighting with First Lady Jill Biden.

On Sunday (Dec. 3), actor Billy Crystal and Bee Keys member Barry Gibb will be among those honored with lifetime artistic achievements at the 46th Kennedy Center Honors.

His schedule is empty this coming Friday and Saturday – the same days as the COP28 leaders’ summit.

The Independent The White House has been contacted for comment.

A White House spokesman said Axios Sunday said he had no travel plans to share “at this time” but praised the president’s environmental record.

“From day one, President Biden has led and delivered the most ambitious climate agenda in history, domestically and abroad,” the spokesman said.

“He secured the largest climate investment ever, put America on track to cut climate pollution in half by 2030, protected 21 million acres of land and water, and continued to mobilize world leaders to raise their collective climate ambition.”

Mr Biden’s absence from Cop28 could hurt his popularity among voters, especially as he has pushed environmental policies high on his White House agenda.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden boarded Air Force One on Sunday

(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

In August 2022, Mr Biden introduced the Deflation Act, hailed as America’s most important climate policy, pouring billions into renewables, battery storage, electric vehicles and adapting the landscape to more extreme weather impacts.

Mr Biden has attended the last two UN climate summits. In 2021, he traveled to Glasgow, Scotland for the event, and last year he stopped in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Mr Biden apologized at Cop26 in the UK for his predecessor Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, signed in 2015 by almost every country to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Earlier this month, Mr Biden warned that it would cost the US economy $178 billion a year and slammed Republicans for sowing climate denial.

“Anyone who willfully denies the impact of climate change is condemning the American people to a very dangerous future. The impacts we see will be worse, more frequent, more severe, and more costly,” he said.

“They hit everyone no matter what their circumstances, but they hit the most vulnerable the hardest.”

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