Chinese President Xi Jinping is not attending the COP26 talks in person, and has delivered only a written statement to the heads of state session
SHANGHAI – (Reuters) – Tackling global climate change needs more than “empty slogans” and big entourages, China’s senior envoy to the United Nations Zhang Jun said on Wednesday, amid criticism of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s failure to attend climate talks in Glasgow.
“Responding to climate change requires unbending determination and sustained action, not empty slogans, unchanging policies, luxury motorcades and crowded entourages, or even irresponsibly letting people get infected!” wrote Zhang, China’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
President Xi is not attending the COP26 talks in person, and delivered only a written statement to the heads of state session on Monday. His U.S. counterpart Joe Biden told reporters in Glasgow that Xi’s absence was a “big mistake”.
But Zhang wrote on Twitter that China had announced new action plans and policy targets ahead of COP26, and had a delegation on the ground. He also criticised the United States’ record on climate, saying Beijing “has never withdrawn from the Paris Agreement.”
“The U.S. government must earnestly meet its responsibilities and come up with specific emission reduction measures, and not try to divert attention and blame others,” he said.
(Reporting by David Stanway. Editing by Gerry Doyle)