The suggestion that Chinese leader Xi Jinping may not attend COP26 in a fortnight’s time will be a significant setback for the summit’s chances of success in setting new and even more rigorous climate targets.
Emissions from China exceed all of the world’s developed nations combined.
While US president Joe Biden has confirmed he will be present, his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, may also stay away because of worries about Covid-19.
Fewer than half of the G20 countries have published their planned targets, known as nationally defined contributions, before the conference starts.
Let us hope this is not yet another form of brinksmanship alongside those we are currently witnessing in respect of global warming.