Joe Biden mulling to skip COP28 in Dubai this week

Joe Biden mulling to skip COP28 in Dubai this week


Washington, Nov 27 (IANS) US President Joe Biden is planning to skip the United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties (COP) that will be held in Dubai from November 30-December 12, where heads of state and top diplomats from around 200 nations will meet to chalk out future plans for climate control measures.

Biden had attended the UN-sponsored meeting twice before.

The White House said it is sending a climate team, including Special Envoy John Kerry, climate advisor Ali Zaidi, and clean energy advisor John Podesta to Dubai.

“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,” said White House spokesman Angelo Fernandez Hernandez, adding that Biden's team would continue to build on the administration actions "to tackle the climate crisis".

Biden was scheduled to visit Africa by year-end, but that trip doesn’t appear to be happening either.

The White House gave no reasons, but the President has been deeply engaged with the war in Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas conflict, as well as domestic battles with the Congress over government funding, TIME magazine reported on Monday on its online edition.

The two-week COP28 conference beginning Thursday is convened annually by the United Nations. The UN is holding the meeting for the 28th time this year, for which this year's event is titled COP28.

Countries party to the agreement have pledged to work to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and prevent “dangerous” human interference with the climate system.

Their goal is to eradicate fossil fuels from the earth, which push up Earth's temperatures, beginning 2030 until 2050. Icebergs in the poles are melting causing oceans to rise and raise sea temperatures, affecting global weather patterns.

With the UAE, the world’s fifth-largest oil producer, hosting the climate talks this year, the conflicts in Eastern Europe and Middle East could make cooperation between the nations even more difficult.

The Arab nations have come under increasing criticism from the UN's International Energy Agency in Paris for not making investments in climate change technologies to reduce emissions caused during production of crude oil and products.

Arab nations and members of the OPEC produce oil and gas and their sales touch $17 trillion every year. But these countries hardly invest 1 per cent of that in greenhouse technologies, the IEA said in a report released in Paris.

If they dont invest now, the cartel will lose $1.7 trillion of revenue as green house technologis start replacing fossil fuels such as oil and gas.

Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology of the UAE, has been appointed as the president-designate for COP28, a decision roundly criticised by climate activists because he serves as the CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., which is seeking to boost its production of carbon-emitting crude oil and natural gas.

Biden had earlier called climate change the “ultimate threat to humanity".

He also released an assessment on the state of climate change in America, saying the issue is impacting all regions in the US.

“Not just some, all. Anyone who willfully denies the impact of climate change is condemning the American people to a very dangerous future,” he had said.

Under his tenure, the US passed the Inflation Reduction Act, America’s most significant response to climate change, and pushed towards more clean energy manufacturing.

His predecessor Donald Trump did not believe that climate change theories are for real, and rebuked climate change activist countries.

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