After criticism for Biden skipping global climate summit, White House to send Kamala Harris

Biden reportedly decided to opt out of the conference to focus on the conflict in the Middle East and his reelection campaign.

Published: November 29, 2023 1:48pm

After receiving criticism from experts and climate activists over President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris skipping the global United Nations summit in Dubai, the White House has now decided to send Harris.

Reuters reported back in October that Biden wouldn’t be attending the annual conference, though he had attended the climate summits in 2021 and 2022. Biden aides told Reuters that conflict in the Middle East arising out of the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel and the president's reelection campaign were demanding his time.

The president would not be attending the conference, Reuters confirmed Sunday, but the White House said U.S. climate envoy John Kerry and White House national climate advisor Ali Zaidi would.

The White House has now decided to send Harris and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, along with other high-ranking officials, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

The COP28 conference begins Thursday, and representatives from nearly 200 countries are expected to attend.

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