Joe Biden attacks China and Russia for failing to attend COP26

By Rek Hanibal Published on November 03, 2021
Joe Biden attacks China and Russia for failing to attend COP26

In a speech on Tuesday night, Mr Biden said climate was "a gigantic issue" and China "walked away" - adding it was the "same thing with Russia and Putin".

Neither Russian President Vladimir Putin nor Chinese leader Xi Jinping are at the summit in Glasgow. However, in both countries, I've sent delegations to the talks, which are due to run for two weeks until 14 November.

China is the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide, followed by the US. Russia is the fifth-largest after the EU and India. More than 120 leaders turned up at the conference in Scotland's largest city.

Countries have already announced significant deals, including a global pledge to slash methane levels by 2030 and end and reverse deforestation by the same year.

Both China and Russia are signatories of the pledge to reverse deforestation. According to a Kremlin press release before Mr Biden's speech, Mr Putin virtually addressed a meeting on forest management at the COP26 summit on Tuesday, saying that Russia takes the "strongest and most vigorous measures to conserve" woodlands.

The US president made his comments when asked about the role that other countries - including China, Russia and Saudi Arabia - had played in talks so far."The fact that China is trying to assert, understandably, a new role in the world as a world leader - not showing up, come on," Mr Biden said, adding that Xi Jinping's absence was a "big mistake".

He said the same about Mr Putin, speaking that Russia's wilderness was burning and their president "stays mum" about the issue. Mr Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov gave no reason why the Russian leader would not attend when they announced the decision in October. However, he said climate change was an "important" priority for Russia.

The same month officials warned UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson that China's President Xi Jinping was not expected to attend. It is thought that President Xi has not left China since early 2020. In September, Mr Xi announced China will aim for carbon neutrality by 2060, aiming to hit peak emissions before 2030.

President Putin said Russia would also strive to reach carbon neutrality "no later than 2060" in an international energy forum speech on 13 October.Net zero, or becoming carbon neutral, means not adding to the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.


Rek Hanibal

Rek Hanibal

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