China’s leader Xi Jinping is not among the world leaders present at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, this week, raising doubts among attendees concerning China’s commitment to lowering greenhouse gas emissions, as Fox Business reported.
What is more, AP News noted that the communist country is putting pressure on the United States to ease confrontation over human rights abuses in China if it wants Beijing to accelerate its climate efforts.
Instead of attending the United Nations’ summit in person, Xi submitted a written statement that called on developed nations to take action but that did not include a new pledge on climate action. China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
President Biden slammed China and Russia following a meeting of G-20 nations in Rome on Sunday, accusing both nations of making a lackluster effort to address climate change on the eve of the Glasgow summit.
“The disappointment relates to the fact that Russia, and including not only Russia, but China, basically didn’t show up in terms of any commitments to deal with climate change,” Biden told reporters on Sunday. “And there’s a reason why people should be disappointed in that. I found it disappointing myself.”
Last month, the CCP reaffirmed its goals of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2060, 10 years later than the United Nations’ target.
As U.S. envoy John Kerry is trying to expand efforts and get support to reduce global warming, AP News confirmed that he has found resistance to get China’s active participation. China has said that it would speed up its climate efforts if the United Stated loosens disputes over ‘other matters.’
And there are signs that Biden administration officials have softened the language and backed off on criticism of China’s mass detentions, forced sterilization and other human rights abuses—in particular of Uyghurs—in the Xinjiang region, according to human rights advocacy groups and Republican lawmakers.
Helen Clarkson, CEO of The Climate Group, hesitated when asked about the matter. She wouldn’t trade human rights for emission cuts, she said, but “there is a way to do both.”
Asked how, Clarkson said, “I don’t tell John Kerry how to do his job. But of course, it’s important we hang on to the fundamental principles.”
The U.S. rejoined the Paris Climate agreement under Biden administration, after Trump had decided to withdraw from it. The Biden administration has taken climate change as an important issue in its agenda.
The COP26 summit runs through Friday, Nov. 12.