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China’s Xi reportedly skipping Glasgow climate summit

China Xi Jinping
President Xi has more immediate crises at home than he is prepared to tackle in Glasgow. Photo: AAP
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In a move that casts doubt on China’s stated intention of reducing its carbon emissions, President Xi Jinping is reportedly going to be a no-show at the Glasgow climate summit.

The Times of London reports British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been told.

Britain, which hosts the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, or COP26, from October 31 to November 12, is seeking to get big power support for a more radical plan to tackle climate change.

“It is now pretty clear that Xi is not going to turn up and the PM has been told that,” The Times quoted an unidentified British source as saying. “What we don’t know is what stance the Chinese are going to take.”

The Times said British organisers fear that Xi’s decision to stay away could be a prelude to China refusing to set new climate change goals amid its current energy crunch.

The news of Xi’s non-appearance comes as a nationwide coal shortage has sparked widespread blackouts and factory closures so severe that Beijing has quietly broken its promise not to purchase Australian coal.

-with AAP