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China, India, US, Australia Skipping COP27 Climate Leaders’ Summit

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The world’s biggest emitters won’t attend a leaders’ summit kicking off the COP27 climate talks in Egypt next week.

More than 100 heads of state and governments are expected to attend the two-day summit, on the theme of “implementation”, in the Red Sea beach resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on November 7-8. [bold, links added]

Amid soaring inflation and deepening geopolitical tensions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the high-level event is a moment for leaders to recommit to international climate cooperation.

But a provisional list of speakers, dated October 31, shows that neither China’s Xi Jinping nor India’s Narendra Modi is expected to attend.

US president Joe Biden won’t make the leaders’ segment because of an agenda clash with the US mid-term elections on 8 November. A handful of tight races will determine whether the Democrats keep hold of the Senate.

Instead, Biden will travel to Sharm el-Sheikh on November 11, the White House has confirmed.

The absence of China and India doesn’t help inject much-needed political momentum into the talks,” Tom Evans, of think tank E3G, told Climate Home News.

In fact, showing from the G20 group of major economies is expected to be poor.

Australia’s Anthony Albanese is skipping the meeting. Defending his decision, he told reporters he “can’t be in all places at once.”

“This Cop is one of implementation. It’s not one of a new policy and program,” he said.

Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau, who has the worst emissions record in the G7, isn’t on the list. A government spokesperson confirmed he isn’t going to Sharm el-Sheikh.

Cat Abreu, a Canadian climate campaigner and founder of Destination Zero, told Climate Home leaders should not be “showing up in spaces simply to be able to say they were there” but should be attending “to make a meaningful contribution to advancing action on climate change”.

According to the document published by the Egyptian host on Tuesday, Argentina, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, and Turkey are not sending leaders. Indonesia will be represented at the vice president level.

Read rest at Climate Change News


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