Chinese president Xi Jinping won’t be attending next month’s Cop26 climate summit in the United Kingdom dashing hopes of any meaningful global progress to fight global warming as other countries submit to draconian restrictions from the Paris Climate Accord.
China’s Xi Won’t Attend COP26 Summit in Glasgow: The Times
So the worlds#’s most polluting nation won’t be present at the global climate change conference.
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) October 14, 2021
“In a setback to the ambitions of the Cop26 summit, the prime minister has been advised by diplomats that Xi is not expected to join more than a hundred other world leaders, including President Biden,” said the U.K.’s Times newspaper.
China has been beset with difficulties both in domestic and foreign policy over the last three years, starting with a virus that required the slaughter of 60% of the country’s hogs, and continuing through a trade war, a worldwide China-induced pandemic and a post-pandemic re-opening that has turned into China’s real estate market into one of the largest financial meltdowns in history.
Xi may not feel like negotiating much in the way of greenhouse gas reductions before an almost universally hostile group of world leaders, who have had to deal not just with China’s pandemic, but also China’s annexation of Hong Kong and the bullying of Taiwan by Xi.
To top it off, the country has callously pursued expansionist policies not just in its own borders, but also in investments throughout the developing world, where it has exploited a loophole in the Paris compact, skirting environmental regulations intended to help impoverished nations stay competitive in the global market while maximizing its own profits.
Despite pledges to scale back its own fossil-fuel dependency, China has continuously ramped up its coal production to meet its own increased energy demands, while the rest of the world endures a self-inflicted energy crisis.
“China is the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter so Xi’s absence from discussions—either in person or via video calls—would mark a setback for [British Prime Minister Boris] Johnson’s hopes of getting world leaders to agree a significant climate deal,” said Reuters.
Even England’s 95-year old monarch, known for being diplomatic to a fault, reportedly complained about reports of the Xi no-show.
“It’s really irritating when they talk, but they don’t do,” Queen Elizabeth said in a conversation picked up by a microphone, according to Reuters.
Xi has pleaded with leaders from other countries to accept what he calls “common but differentiated responsibilities” for climate change.
Xi contends that China, as a lesser developed country, should not have to cut its greenhouses gas as much as other, more industrialized countries.
But it’s an argument that may be wearing thin on those who have had to contend with China rudely elbowing its way to global prominence.
In 2020 Xi won the “Climate Hypocrite of the Year” awarded by the London-based Global Warming Policy Forum.
“The General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party is a deserving winner this year for his smooth parading of ‘concern’ for the climate while all the time building hundreds of coal-fired power stations in China and around the world as fast as he possibly can,” the forum said in its announcement according to the Washington Times.
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.