Modi, Johnson, Macron: Bennett to Meet With String of World Leaders in Glasgow Summit

Israel's PM is eager to capitalize on the UN climate conference, where 200 senior figures and leaders of countries will be in attendance

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks at the Knesset, earlier this month.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks at the Knesset, earlier this month.Credit: Emil Salman
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is set to meet a series of world leaders when he attends the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

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Some 200 senior figures and leaders of countries from around the world will attend the conference, which is scheduled to take place between October 31 and November 12 and is intended to motivate countries worldwide to act and halt the most severe effects of climate change.

A political source said the list of leaders Bennett will meet shows that he is being heavily courted by world leaders. "He had to decide who he wanted to meet there," said the source. "The Abraham Accords, as well as the formation of the unity government in Israel, are creating a desire for countries to tighten their ties with Israel."

At the summit, Bennett is also set to meet with Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He is scheduled to address the conference on November 1.

For his speech at the UN, Bennett was given a later billing, meaning many world leaders had already left. He ended up meeting with the U.S. ambassador and the Secretary General of the United Nations, as well as ministers from the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. 

Bennett, who took office in June, has already held meetings with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi. He also met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi in September, and held a secret meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah in Amman. 

During the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Bennett said that Israel’s climate targets are not ambitious enough and said a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 should be set, several sources who attended the meeting told Haaretz. The remarks were his first admission that Israel must raise its climate-related targets. They put him in conflict with the energy and finance ministries on net-zero emissions, a position that led Israel to adopt particularly modest targets of a 27-percent reduction of carbon emissions by 2030 and an 85-percent reduction by 2050.

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