Obama to attend Glasgow climate summit
Former President Obama will attend the international climate summit in Glasgow set to begin Oct. 31, Obama’s office confirmed Friday.
“Next month, President Obama will travel to Glasgow for the COP26 conference where he will meet with young activists engaged in the climate fight and deliver remarks putting the threat of climate change in broader context,” a spokesperson for Obama said in a statement.
At the summit, Obama “will lay out the important progress made in the five years since the Paris Agreement took effect, highlight the leadership of young people around the globe, and urge more robust action going forward by all of us – governments, the private sector, philanthropy, and civil society,” the spokesperson added.
The announcement comes the day after the White House confirmed 12 top administration officials will be attending the summit, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan and White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy.
The week the summit begins is also the fifth anniversary of when the Paris climate agreement, one of Obama’s signature international climate achievements, took effect. Former President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the pact, while President Biden reentered it his first week in office.
Biden also announced in September that he would reconvene the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF), an Obama-era summit that includes 17 major economies including China, India and the European Union.
The announcement of Obama’s attendance comes as the U.S. has sought to reassert its international leadership on climate issues. The U.S., the number-two emitter of greenhouse gases nationwide after China, has committed to reducing emissions by half by the end of the decade. However, Biden is also faced with an ongoing stalemate in Congress over a spending package that contains numerous major climate provisions.