Relief for Boris as Indian PM Narendra Modi declares he WILL come to COP26 summit in Glasgow despite Russia and China snub and claims ministers fear it will be a ‘damp squib’
- Boris Johnson is hoping to get climate change progress at the COP26 summit
- Vladimir Putin has confirmed he will not be attending the gathering in person
- China’s Xi Jinping is also not expected to come to the summit in Glasgow
- India’s Narendra Modi has announced that he will be joining the UN event
Boris Johnson is breathing a sign of relief today after Indian PM Narendra Modi confirmed he will attend the COP26 climate summit.
Mr Modi will be coming to Glasgow, in a much-needed boon for the UN event after it emerged by Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jingping are set to stay away.
Downing Street hailed the news, which brings the number of confirmed world leaders attending to more than 120. As one of the biggest carbon emitters, India’s involvement is regarded as critical.
But signs of anxiety in Cabinet surfaced today with claims that COP26 president Alok Sharma is ‘raging’ about the way Mr Johnson has talked up hopes of a major breakthrough in the battle against climate change.
Mr Sharma reportedly fears that the event will end up looking like a ‘damp squib’.
Boris Johnson has insisted he is hoping for a ‘good’ turnout in Glasgow, but pointed to the pandemic as a factor
The Kremlin said Vladimir Putin (left) will not be attending the gathering in Glasgow at the end of the month. China’s Xi Jinping (right) is also not expected to go
Alok Sharma, the COP26 President, is said to be ‘raging’ at Boris Johnson for ‘ramping up’ hopes of a major climate change breakthrough at the summit in Glasgow
Who is coming to the COP26 summit?
Even the Queen has been publicly complaining that she does not know who is coming to the big UN climate summit in Glasgow.
CONFIRMED OR LIKELY
US president Joe Biden
Indian PM Narendra Modi
Australian PM Scott Morrison
Israeli PM Naftali Bennett
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan
French president Emmanuel Macron
Italian PM Mario Draghi
Colombian president Ivan Duque
Swedish PM Stefan Lofven
Swiss President Guy Parmelin
South Korean President Moon Jae-in
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
OUT OR DOUBTFUL
Chinese president Xi Jinping
Russian president Vladimir Putin
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa
Japanese PM Fumio Kishida
Welcoming the announcement from Mr Modi, Mr Johnson’s spokesman said: ‘India play an important role in this and the Prime Minister has had a number of conversations with Modi on the importance of climate change so we look forward to discussing it with him further.’
Mr Johnson has insisted he is hoping for a ‘good’ turnout in Glasgow, but pointed to the pandemic as a factor.
The Kremlin said yesterday that Mr Putin will not be attending the gathering in Glasgow at the end of the month, citing the Covid situation.
He is expected to address the conference by video-link.
It comes after China’s Xi Jinping made clear he is not intending to travel to the UN event, heightening fears that the summit will fail to make significant progress in the fight against climate change.
Although both countries are expected to send delegations, the presence of national leaders is seen as crucial to add impetus to the process.
Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro has also not committed to attending.
US President Joe Biden confirmed only last week that he will be there, and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison is coming despite initial doubts.
If China does not commit to new action, the prospect of keeping global warming to 1.5C could well be scuppered. The country is responsible for 27 per cent of global carbon emissions.
Even the Queen has been unable to conceal her frustration at the vague guest list for COP26.
Caught on microphone while attending the opening of the Welsh parliament in Cardiff last week, the monarch said: ‘Extraordinary isn’t it… I’ve been hearing all about Cop… still don’t know who is coming… no idea.
‘We only know about people who are not coming… It’s really irritating when they talk, but they don’t do.’
Mr Johnson has repeatedly hailed COP26 as a major moment, saying in September that ‘this is the most important period I think now in the history of the planet – because COP simply must succeed’.
But The Sun reported that Mr Sharma is angry at Mr Johnson for boosting expectations.
One minister told the newspaper: ‘Nobody has pitched properly that this is not going to be some big hand of history moment where a new deal is done, so it’s going to feel like a damp squib.
‘Alok is raging. It’s got completely out of control.’
The aim of the summit is to persuade countries to agree to take action to restrict global warming to nothing more than 1.5 degrees.
But the minister said the message of ‘keep 1.5 alive’ is ‘incomprehensible’ and many people simply do not know what it means.
However, a COP26 insider defended the message as they said: ‘Communities on the front line of climate change understand very starkly that keeping global warming within 1.5 degrees could quite literally be a matter of life or death.’
An ally of Mr Sharma denied that he is angry at the Prime Minister.
‘He is delighted the PM’s personal drive, enthusiasm and determination is fully behind COP26,’ they said.
Saudi Arabia, Japan and Australia ‘lobbied UN scientists to water down report on climate change’
Major countries are attempting to put pressure on scientists to water down a key United Nations report into climate change, it has today been reported.
Countries including Australia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Japan are reportedly among the countries who have asked the UN body compiling the report to play down the need to move rapidly away from fossil fuels.
Wealthier nations have also reportedly questioned giving more funding to poor countries to assist the move to greener technologies.
The claims comes from a leak of documents, seen by the BBC, having been shared by Green Peace’s investigative platform Unearthed.
It has been published just days before the major COP26 climate summit due to be held in Glasgow.
Leaders at the summit will be asked to make commitments to slow down climate change and keep global warming to 1.5 degrees.
According to the BBC, the documents contain 32,000 submissions made by governments, companies and other interested parties to officials at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The panel is the UN body tasked with evaluating the science of climate change anre in the process of compiling bringing together scientific evidence on how to tackle climate change.