COP28: Who are the big name attendees?


Representatives of 197 countries who are ‘parties’ to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will participate at COP28

The United Nations’ Conference of Parties ’28’ (COP28) has begun in Dubai, UAE. The conference, starting on November 30 until December 12, will see heads of states, governments and representatives attend the event.

From CEOs to presidents, from investors to monarchs, celebrities to climate activists and advocates, spiritual leaders to indigenous leaders, are among the 97,000 delegates who have registered to be in attendance at the climate conference. More than 70,000 politicians, diplomats, campaigners, financiers and business leaders are expected to be in Dubai to talk about correcting the world’s slide toward global warming.

Global leaders at COP28

Representatives of 197 countries who have signed or are ‘parties’ to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will participate primarily through debates and negotiations.

The UAE’s President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed along with his senior ministers will be in attendance as UAE is the host country.

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 President-Designate, UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change, and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology has been on site welcoming delegates from across the world.

Global leaders including UK’s King Charles III, and the British PM Rishi Sunak will be at the event. EU President Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Prime Minister Olaf Scholz, Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil and Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India are expected to be in attendance.

US Vice President Kamala Harris and John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, will represent the US at COP28.

World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will be at the conference. He will lobby for health considerations to be embedded in climate policy, while the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its head Rafael Grossi are pushing for nuclear power to have a crucial role in the energy transition.

Jim Skea, the newly elected head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is also due to attend COP28.

The software billionaire, Bill Gates, has confirmed his attendance at Cop28, calling it an “important opportunity to check on the world’s progress”. Michael Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, who is also UN Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions, is expected at the conference. Additionally, Al Gore, US vice president from 1993 to 2001, is a regular participant at climate events after leaving office, and could be spotted at Expo City Dubai.

Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio is likely to be among the big Hollywood names in attendance, as he has positioned himself as a climate action advocate. Other celebrities Idris Elba, Matt Damon, Stella McCartney and Ella Goulding. Actor and UN Goodwill Ambassador Idris Elba spoke at the World Government Summit, held in the UAE back in February.

COP28: Who is not attending

The three biggest names to give the climate conference a miss are Pope Francis and US President Joe Biden. The US President has sent in his second-in-command Kamala Harris in his stead.

Additionally, China’s President Xi Jinping will also not be at the summit.

Pope Francis, had originally intended to attend but has cancelled his trip to Dubai, as he recovers from the flu, the Vatican said in a statement.

The other state leaders who will not attend the COP28 include – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a statement from Israel’s Foreign Ministry. Neither Syrian President Bahar Assad nor Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will be in Dubai.


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