President Joe Biden greets Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, left, after arriving at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Kenner on Friday, September 3, 2021. Biden traveled to Louisiana to survey storm damage from Hurricane Ida and meet with officials. (Photo by Brett Duke, | The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards leaves Thursday to attend the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Scotland.

Much of the world’s attention will be on Glasgow next week. Celebrities, activists, business officials, and politicians are expected to come to Scotland’s largest city. Protests and demonstrations are likely.

Called COP26, the Glasgow meeting will host diplomats from about 200 countries for what is expected to be the most important international meeting on climate since nations agreed in Paris six years ago to collectively lower their greenhouse emissions enough to slow the planet from heating up by more than 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit.

As president, Donald Trump ordered the U.S. to withdraw from 2015 Paris Agreement. The move was strongly supported by many Republicans and opposed by many Democrats.

Climate change mitigation remains a volatile partisan issue in the U.S. President Joe Biden will be attending the Glasgow conference and is expected to promise to lower U.S. emissions more. But Congress won’t pass the initiatives needed to reach his goals.

Don Pierson, secretary of Louisiana Economic Development, and Department of Natural Resources Secretary Tom Harris are among the 11 members of the Louisiana delegation that Edwards is leading to the international forum to discuss climate change, cleaner energy, and creating sustainable communities in the face of a changing climate.

In less than a year, Louisiana has been buffeted by four-named hurricanes, including two with sustained winds around 150 miles per hour long after coming ashore, largely because of the warmer than usual Gulf waters.

The scoop on state politics in your inbox

Get the Louisiana politics insider details once a week from us. Sign up today.

“No state in our nation is more affected by climate change than Louisiana, but it’s also true that no state is better positioned to be part of the solution to the problems facing our world,” Edwards said in a press release Monday announcing his trip. “In Glasgow, we will have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, representing different governments, but also corporations and different sectors of the clean energy movement.”

Edwards announced earlier in October that the state has joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s “Race to Zero” campaign. Race to Zero is a global effort of thousands of governments, higher education institutions and businesses committed to taking actions to continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to avoid further worsening effects of climate change on the world’s communities.

“Make no mistake: an industry-wide transition to cleaner, less environmentally impactful energy production and utilization is going to happen regardless of if Louisiana participates, so it’s best that Louisiana be a leader in this space,” Edwards said. “We will focus on securing new investments for economic development, job creation and greenhouse gas reductions to navigate through the energy transition and to a better, cleaner future.”

“Louisiana’s geology and existing industry base position us to be a major hub for carbon management projects and activity, and we have been among the leaders in championing initiatives to promote carbon management though Carbon Capture and Sequestration,” said DNR Secretary Harris.

“The conference affords us a unique opportunity to engage companies that may have a strong interest in doing business in the state, now firmly established as a major player in the clean energy economy,” LED Secretary Pierson.

Edwards and his entourage will depart Thursday. The conference and related meetings begin Oct. 31 and continue to Nov. 4.

Also heading to Scotland with Edwards is Larry Collins, Executive Director, Office of International Commerce; Ben Fontenot, Assistant Director, Office of International Commerce; Donald Dunbar, Special Assistant to the Governor; Harry Vorhoff, Deputy Director, Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities; Charles Sutcliffe, Chief Resilience Officer, Governor’s Office of Costal Activities; Lindsay Cooper, Policy Advisor, Governor’s Office of Costal Activities; Christina Stephens, Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications and Special Projects; and Camille Manning-Broome, President/CEO Center for Planning Excellence.

Email Mark Ballard at