COP26 begins in just under two weeks, with delegations from over 190 countries flying to Glasgow in a “last-ditch effort” to strike a new deal on cutting greenhouse gas emissions and affirming a global commitment to net zero. For Downing Street, it’s all about “1.5°C alive” and convincing China “to move”.
Since Xi Jinping is now not even expected to appear at the summit, Guido has his doubts. In fact, Jinping isn’t the only world leader giving COP the cold shoulder. Yesterday, the Russian ambassador told Andrew Marr that a decision on Putin’s arrival has “not yet been taken“, with Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman also yet to confirm his attendance. Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi reportedly isn’t coming either, although given there were calls to have him arrested on arrival over mass murder, that isn’t exactly surprising.
Still, of the top ten countries pumping out the most carbon dioxide, four are now no longer expected to send their respective leaders to the summit. It seems to Guido that the other world leaders are about to rack up a lot of air miles for a conference that the real culprits aren’t taking seriously. What’s the point in carbon taxes and ludicrous (or, according to Rishi, “ambitious) net zero targets if the biggest polluters won’t even take a meeting?