President Biden to attend COP26 climate conference

Washington DC - President Joe Biden will travel to Glasgow for the crucial upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) climate talks, the White House has confirmed.

COP26 President Alok Sharma (l.) warned that world leaders must deliver on their promises to curb dangerous climate change at the upcoming talks in Glasgow, which will be attended by President Joe Biden (r.).
COP26 President Alok Sharma (l.) warned that world leaders must deliver on their promises to curb dangerous climate change at the upcoming talks in Glasgow, which will be attended by President Joe Biden (r.).  © Collage: IMAGO/ZUMA Press & ZUMA Wire

Biden will be one of around 120 leaders set to attend the world leaders' summit at the start of the two-week conference which aims to drive action to curb global warming and avoid its most dangerous impacts.

The event begins on October 31.

The president will attend the UK event for two days from November 1 through 2 after attending the G20 leaders' summit in Rome.

"It's official - President Biden will travel to Scotland for COP26. The gathering in Glasgow will be a pivotal moment on the road towards a more secure, prosperous, and sustainable future for our planet," US charge d'affaires Philip Reeker said in a tweet.

Ahead of the talks, COP26 president Alok Sharma has urged world leaders to honor the Paris Agreement in 2015, which committed countries to try to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius – beyond which the most dangerous climate impacts will be felt.

But current action and pledges leave the world well off track to meeting the goal and avoiding the most dangerous heat waves, floods, damage to natural systems, rising sea levels, and spread of diseases that higher temperatures will bring.

The UN climate talks in less than three weeks must secure agreement to accelerate climate action this decade to keep the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal alive, Sharma has warned.

Countries are expected to bring forward more ambitious plans before COP26, under a five-year cycle, to get the world on track to meet the Paris goals and the summit is being seen as the most significant since the talks in the French capital.

All G7 nations, including the US, have put forward new, more ambitious plans – known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement – for cutting emissions ahead of the talks.

But other major economies in the G20 group - including China, the world's largest polluter - have yet to submit new versions of their plans.

Time is running out to honor their promise to do so before COP26 - making the G20 summit in Rome a potentially critical moment for climate action.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO/ZUMA Press & ZUMA Wire

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