UK ministers are keen for the Cop26 international climate conference to involve face-to-face meetings and speeches after the event was delayed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In what will be a boost to organisers, Joe Biden has given his clearest indication yet that he plans to travel from the US to the summit in Scotland, which will run for two weeks from October 31 to November 12.
Speaking in the White House during a meeting on Tuesday with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mr Biden said: “As we look ahead to the UK hosting Cop26, which I’m really anxious to attend in Glasgow in November.
“We’re going to be there with bells on, as they say.”
Mr Johnson and Cop26 President Alok Sharma are working to ensure that the talks in Glasgow result in an agreement to slow global warming.
They are pursuing a target of limiting any further temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius in a bid to prevent the worst affects of climate change being realised.
The summit will involve calls to accelerate the phasing out of coal, curtail deforestation, speed up the switch to electric vehicles and encourage investment in renewables.
Mr Johnson has been pressing world leaders to pledge 100 billion dollars annually to help support developing nations deal with the impact of climate change as part of Cop efforts – a request Mr Biden responded to by committing to try and double the US’s outlay to 11.4 billion dollars per year, or £8.3 billion.
Earlier this month, Mr Sharma said he was confident Cop26 would be able to go ahead as planned in Glasgow, despite rising Covid levels in Scotland.
He said that a range of safety measures were being put in place, including providing vaccines for accredited delegates who would otherwise be unable to access the jab in their own countries.
“I am confident that we are going to have a physical Cop26. We are planning for that,” he told the BBC.
“What’s vitally important is that the people who are coming are safe but also the people of Glasgow are safe. I am confident that we will have a safe event.”