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US President Joe Biden will not attend COP28 in Dubai

The American president will not go to COP28, the UN climate conference, which will begin Thursday in Dubai, an American official said on Sunday, citing in particular the demands linked to the war in the Middle East.

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Should we see this as a decline in the United States’ climate commitment? President Joe Biden will not participate in COP28 to be held in Dubai, a US official reported on Sunday.

The UN climate conference, which takes place from Thursday until December 12 in the United Arab Emirates, is expected to bring together a record of more than 70,000 participants, according to the Emirati presidency, including Pope Francis.

Neither Joe Biden’s agenda nor that of Vice President Kamala Harris, both published by the White House, mention a trip to Dubai this week.

Joe Biden’s program includes a visit to Colorado to promote American investments in wind energy, a meeting with the president of Angola as well as the lighting of the national Christmas tree.

A US official confirmed that the US president does not plan to attend COP28 this week or in a second round towards the end of the negotiations.

The presidential election in sight

According to the same source, who requested anonymity, Washington is still considering the possibility of sending a high-level official to Dubai. John Kerry, the American climate envoy, also a former secretary of state and former senator, will lead the negotiations for the United States.

The official did not communicate the reason for Joe Biden’s decision, whose attention has been focused since last month on the war between Israel and Hamas. The American president is also seeking to highlight his projects domestically, less than a year before the presidential election.

It was not customary for the US president to attend every UN climate conference before Joe Biden arrived at the White House.

The Democratic president went to COP26 in Glasgow in 2021 – to announce the return of the United States in the fight against global warming after the withdrawal from the Paris agreement decided by his predecessor Donald Trump – as well as at the COP27 organized last year in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt.

DEBATE © France24

With AFP

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