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As Dubai Prepares For COP28, Some World Leaders Signal They Won't Attend Climate Talks

By PTI November 29, 2023

The two-week meeting of international leaders aims to assess where the world stands when it comes to limiting emissions to slow global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius compared with pre-industrial times

As Dubai Prepares For COP28, Some World Leaders Signal They Won't Attend Climate Talks
The two-week gathering of international leaders aims to evaluate the world's progress in limiting emissions to curb global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times. Shutterstock
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Dubai is ready to host the COP28 climate talks as global leaders, including US President Joe Biden and Pope Francis, have indicated they won't be attending amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict in the wider Middle East.

Under the scorching November sun, workers decorated Dubai Expo City's iconic Al Wasl Dome with green foliage in preparation for the summit scheduled to commence on Thursday in the United Arab Emirates. Armed United Nations police patrolled about half of Expo City, where delegates will engage in discussions, with the other half hosting additional climate events. Airport-style security screenings were implemented for those entering both areas.

The two-week gathering of international leaders aims to evaluate the world's progress in limiting emissions to curb global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial times. Emirati officials anticipate more than 70,000 attendees, including heads of state, at the talks.

While Britain's King Charles is set to participate, some leaders, such as 81-year-old President Biden, who attended both COP26 in Scotland and COP27 in Egypt, won't be present. The White House is sending a climate team, including Special Envoy John Kerry and advisers Ali Zaidi and John Podesta.

Pope Francis cancelled his Dubai trip for the UN climate conference on medical advice as he recovers from the flu and lung inflammation. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen are also unlikely to attend due to the conflict. Arab nations, including the UAE, expressed anger over the Gaza Strip offensive following Hamas' attack on Israel.

Despite receiving an invitation, Syrian President Bashar Assad will not attend; instead, Prime Minister Hussein Arnous will lead Syria's delegation. Assad has gradually reintegrated into Arab regional politics despite his crackdown on 2011 Arab Spring protesters, leading to a civil war and regional conflict that claimed half a million lives and displaced half of Syria's population.

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