After the initial delay from November 2020, COP26 is now just around the corner. As the start date on October 31st draws closer, world leaders and well-known figures are starting to confirm their participation in the international summit.
Aiming to tackle the pressing issue of climate change, collaboration is one of the key goals of COP26. The more global leaders attend, the more powerful that collaboration can be.
Here is everyone currently planning to attend the conference in Glasgow at the end of October.
What is COP26?
All eyes will be on Glasgow when the world leaders travel to Scotland for the summit. The event is expected to bring in between 20,000 and 25,000 attendees alongside global politicians and state leaders.
The goal of COP26 is to address the climate crisis, following up on the last event of this kind since 2019. This comes just a few months after the UN’s IPCC Report which labelled global warming as a "code red for humanity". COP26 is therefore being regarded as a landmark event by attendees from around the world.
Which world leaders will attend COP26?
Over 100 world leaders are expected to attend the conference, but only a few names are widely known so far. Here are all the world leaders confirmed to be attending COP26 at the end of October.
- President Joe Biden, United States
President Biden has confirmed he will be travelling to Glasgow to take part in COP26, soon after he hosted the Virtual Leaders Summit himself. The event was live-streamed for the public and saw 40 world leaders come together to discuss what can be done to encourage climate action.
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson, United Kingdom
Mr Johnson has confirmed his attendance at COP26, as well as stating that there will be a place for leaders of all the UK’s national government.
"It’s a huge undertaking by the whole of the UK,” said the Prime Minister. “Every part of the UK is now working together. What we’ve got to do is, we’ve got to lead the world to get everybody to commit to net zero by 2050.”
- First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland
Despite there being reported clashes between Ms Sturgeon and Mr Johnson regarding the summit, Scotland’s First Minister will be attending COP26 in Glasgow. Mr Johnson went so far as to say that Ms Sturgeon will play a key role in the climate conference, as the leader of the Scottish government.
- Her Majesty the Queen, United Kingdom
The Queen will also travel to Glasgow to represent the United Kingdom, just as she and other members of the Royal Family did for the G7 Summit in Cornwall. She will be joined by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge.
- Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett
- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison
- Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan
- French President Emmanuel Macron
- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
- Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi
- Colombian President Ivan Duque
- Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven
- Swiss President Guy Parmelin
- South Korean President Moon Jae-in
The President is expected to attend, but the presidency has not made an official announcement yet.
- The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Felix Tshisekedi, current chair of the African Union
- Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari
- Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo
- Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez
Who else is attending COP26?
There are some other famous faces who will also be playing their part in the climate conference, ranging from climate activists to cultural leaders.
- Sir David Attenborough
Sir David has been named as the COP26 People’s Advocate, meaning that the broadcaster and natural historian will address world leaders and other attendees during the summit. He also made appearances at other climate events in the run-up to COP26, including the G7 Summit.
- Pietro Parolin, Cardinal Secretary of State of Vatican City
It was at first rumoured that Pope Francis would also make the journey to Glasgow for the conference, however it was recently announced that Cardinal Parolin will attend in his stead, while the Pope himself remains in Edinburgh along with other dignitaries like the Queen.
- Greta Thunberg
Despite levelling some criticism at COP26, it seems likely that the young climate activist who sparked the Fridays For Future movement will be joining the world leaders in Glasgow.
- António Guterres
As UN Secretary General, Mr Guterres will be there to follow up on his previous warnings about the importance of tackling climate change decisively now.
- Ursula von der Leyen
The EU will be negotiating as a bloc at COP26, so Ursala von der Leyen will be in attendance in the capacity of her role as President of the European Commission.
- Xie Zhenhua
While the presence of the Chinese President Xi Jinping is not yet confirmed and rumours spread that he will not be attending, the Chinese climate envoy will be returning to bring his influence to COP26, as he has done at COPs for the last ten years.