Boris Johnson avoids questions on sacking of COP26 president

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Around 15 world leaders joined the virtual meeting where Mr Johnson pressed countries to deliver on their commitments to cut emissions in the build-up to COP26 summit in Glasgow.

He also pressed for countries to deliver on finance for developing countries.

But as the COP26 climate summit approaches in November, China’s President Xi Jinping, India’s Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden all avoided the meeting in New York, despite the extension of invites.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also missed the meeting after turning down an invite.

The leaders instead sent ministers to stand in, while Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro didn’t even send a single representative.

The meeting was instead attended mainly by leaders from developing countries most affected by climate change, but who have far less impact on the environment than the big polluters and far less power to control the impact of global warming.

Mr Guterres has expressed his concern at the lack of engagement from the countries set to miss the meeting.

Guterres said he had hoped Monday’s meeting would “build trust.”

Instead, the biggest polluters will not be there.

He said: “I am very worried.

“I feel that there is a lack of trust between developed and developing countries, especially countries, for instance at the G7 and countries of the emerging economies, the BASIC group”

The BASIC group is a bloc of four large newly industrialised countries, including Brazil, South Africa, China and India.

China and India are particularly big polluters from the bloc, with 23 of China’s megacities responsible for 52 percent the whole world’s megacity emissions.

And India is the world’s third largest emitter after the US and China.

Both China and India have refused to publish any new plans to reduce emissions.

One of the main goals at COP26 is to press these countries to reduce their emissions.

This also comes after the UN released its IPCC climate report, which issued a ‘code red’ for humanity, urging world leaders to take action to avoid an imminent climate crisis.

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But this is not the first meeting that China’s Xi Jinping has decided to avoid.

He was absent from a climate meeting held by Mr Biden on Friday, and it is even more worrying that he has still not confirmed his attendance at COP26.

COP26 President Alok Sharma said that “the ball is very much in their court.”

India’s commitment to tackling the climate crisis also appears weak, with Mr Modi having made clear that India wants rich countries to meet their financial commitments before India begins to reduce its emissions.

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