Even as most democracies are making ambitious climate commitments, the world’s most powerful autocrats in Beijing, Moscow and elsewhere are thumbing their noses, refusing to cut their emissions and even to show up at climate negotiations. — Paul Bledsoe, Strategic Advisor at the Progressive Policy Institute
Even as most democracies are making ambitious climate commitments, the world’s most powerful autocrats in Beijing, Moscow and elsewhere are thumbing their noses, refusing to cut their emissions and even to show up at climate negotiations. — Paul Bledsoe, Strategic Advisor at the Progressive Policy Institute
Who Is Attending the COP26 Climate Summit, and Who Isn't
When President Biden was asked in Rome on Sunday about criticism of the world’s wealthiest economies to do more to address climate change, he noted the absence of two key players: China and Russia.

“Not only Russia, but China, basically didn’t show up in terms of any commitments to deal with climate change,” the president told reporters. “There’s a reason why people should be disappointed in that. I found it disappointing myself.”

One day later, as Mr. Biden joined more than 100 world leaders who have descended on Glasgow for a critical climate summit — including Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain — the leaders of China and Russia were among the most notable no-shows.

Along with Xi Jinping of China and Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey are not attending the summit.


The presence of heads of state and government at the talks is not just symbolic. Real work gets done among leaders that cannot happen among lower-level diplomats. During the 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen, President Barack Obama barged in to a secret meeting being held by the leaders of China, India, Brazil and South Africa. The discussions that came after helped clinch a deal, albeit a weak one.

So the high-profile absences this time have dismayed some experts.

“Even as most democracies are making ambitious climate commitments, the world’s most powerful autocrats in Beijing, Moscow and elsewhere are thumbing their noses, refusing to cut their emissions and even to show up at climate negotiations,” said Paul Bledsoe, who advised the Clinton White House on climate change and is now with the Progressive Policy Institute.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/01/world/europe/cop26-global-leaders-attending.html