Cop26: China’s president Xi to address summit in written statement

China key player at event as world’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions

Chinese President Xi Jinping: gives written statement for Glasgow summit. Photograph: Mark Schiefelbeing/AP Photo

Chinese President Xi Jinping: gives written statement for Glasgow summit. Photograph: Mark Schiefelbeing/AP Photo

 

Chinese president Xi Jinping will address the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow on Monday in the form of a written statement, according to an official schedule.

Mr Xi’s statement will be uploaded to the official conference website following addresses by world leaders, including US president Joe Biden and French president Emmanuel Macron.

According to the list of speakers released by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Mr Xi is the only leader to address the “First Part of the High-Level Segment for Heads of State and Government” in a written statement.

China is the world’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, making it a key player at Cop26, the latest round of talks aimed at strengthening the fight against global warming, which got underway on Sunday.

However, Mr Xi, who has not left China since the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, had not been expected to attend the conference in person.

In updated pledges, China confirmed to the United Nations last week that it would bring its emissions to a peak before 2030 and cut them to “net zero” by 2060. It also promised to raise total wind and solar power generation capacity to 1,200 gigawatts by 2030 in order to reach its goals.

However, climate watchers were hoping for new pledges to cap energy consumption and an earlier start to reducing the use of coal, currently scheduled to begin in 2026.

Almost every country in the world will attend the 26th gathering under the UN “conference of the parties”.

The 13-day long summit, which will be held in Glasgow, is billed as the last chance to put the world on track to avoid catastrophic damage to Earth due to vast quantities of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.

The conference is the only global mechanism to galvanise action in addressing this human-caused damage to planet Earth. – Reuters