The White House announced that Vice President Kamala Harris will be part of the U.S. delegation to attend the United Nations conference for climate change in Dubai. The sudden inclusion of Harris in the delegation comes following criticism of Joe Biden’s decision to skip the summit. Furthermore, it was also indicated that Biden will not be making a trip to Africa before the year ends.
Biden confirmed that Harris will highlight U.S. leadership on climate change, and push for more global ambition during the critical event. Apart from Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, special envoy John Kerry, climate adviser Ali Zaidi, and clean energy adviser John Podesta will also be visiting Dubai. The summit aims to evaluate global leaders’ progress, or lack thereof, in the fight against climate change.
Harris’ participation in the two-week conference will be brief, with her scheduled to leave Washington on Friday and return on Sunday. Her visit will also carry political significance as she will be the highest-ranking U.S. leader to visit an Arab nation since the Israel-Hamas war. Notably, Biden had previously planned to visit Jordan and Israel in October but canceled the trip due to controversy surrounding an explosion at a hospital in the Gaza Strip.
The cause of the blast was initially blamed on Israel by Hamas authorities but further analysis including from The Associated Press indicated that a misfired Palestinian rocket was the actual cause of the explosion.