Obama to attend UN climate summit in Glasgow

Former President Obama will attend the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, next month to highlight the “important progress” made with climate change since the Paris Agreement took effect, while President Biden and his Cabinet officials plan to double down on the administration’s commitment to combating climate change. 

Obama spokeswoman Hannah Hankins on Friday said Obama will travel to Glasgow for the COP26 conference, where he plans to “meet with young activists engaged in the climate fight and deliver remarks putting the threat of climate change in broader context.” 

“He 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,” she added. 

The White House announced Thursday that Biden would participate in the World Leader Summit in Glasgow on Nov. 1 and 2 at the beginning of the 26th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

Biden is expected to attend with a number of Cabinet officials and senior administration officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Biden climate adviser Gina McCarthy and Climate Envoy John Kerry. 

Biden last year announced Kerry would serve as the special presidential envoy for climate and would sit on the National Security Council – marking it the first administration with the NSC including an official dedicated to climate change.

It is unclear whether Obama will participate in any meetings or events with Biden and his Cabinet officials. Earlier this year, the White House said Biden and Obama spoke “regularly” about a “range of issues” as well as personal matters but did not disclose the frequency of those conversations.

Biden and members of his administration have declared climate change a national security threat. Over the summer, Biden warned it would be the “greatest threat” to America’s national security in the coming years.


The U.S. formally rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement in February following Biden’s day-one executive order. The order reversed a Trump-era decision to withdraw from the accord. The Paris Agreement is a global pact created during the Obama administration to combat climate change. 

Biden’s participation in the summit will come after he meets with Pope Francis on Oct. 29 in Vatican City and participates in the G20 Leaders’ Summit on Oct. 30 and 31 in Rome. The White House said additional details about “individual bilateral engagements on the margins of G20 will be forthcoming.” 

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