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Biden and Xi both planning to skip Cop28 as climate conference branded ‘jamboree of photo ops’

Cop28 has been blasted as a “jamboree of photo opportunities”, as two key world leaders confirmed they would not be attending.

The climate event, which begins on Thursday, is taking place in Dubai and is being hosted by the United Arab Emirates, a major oil and gas-producing country.


However, the White House has now confirmed that President Biden will not be attending the event.

It comes as Xi Jinping of China is not expected to attend. King Charles III and Rishi Sunak are expected to be in attendance.

WATCH HERE: President Xi is ‘exploiting’ US

Professor of international politics at the University of Manchester Matthew Paterson told GB News: “Most people think that when the world leaders turn up it becomes a jamboree of photo opportunities.

“It is as much about schoolground politics diplomacy. You just want to be friends with the bully.

“China and the US are the most important relationship for the battle against climate change.

“The Cop is a boring but necessary thing to be held every year. Most of the big crunch decisions, the most valuable against climate change will take place at the UN General Security Council.”

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President Biden has attended all of the Cop summits since taking the White House

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Dr Yixian Sun, senior lecturer in international development at the University of Bath, is in attendance at the summit.

Dr Sun said: “For each Cop, there is an agenda with the items to be negotiated by delegates from the government of each party.

“At the same time, non-party stakeholders (civil society groups, businesses, and researchers) can also attend the COP to observe and try to influence the negotiations. However, the heads of state are not required to attend these meetings…especially when there is no new treaty to be made like this year’s conference.

“In other words, the presence of some high-level policymakers is only symbolic and cannot always help advance the negotiations.”

Xi Jinping

President Xi is also not set to attend the event

Reuters

President Biden has attended both of the Cop summits since his 2021 inauguration.

Dr Sun added: “In fact, for many researchers who study and have followed global climate politics/negotiations for years, the attendance of heads of state is not always helpful and sometimes can be even counterproductive as it distracts public attention to the key issues to be negotiated.

“Personally, I don’t think the absence of Biden and Xi will make a huge difference for the upcoming COP.

“Instead, the two countries have already reached a new agreement to support climate cooperation and this would bring a lot of hope to the success of the conference.”

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