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No Show: World Leaders To Skip UN Climate Summit

Joydeep Gupta, China Dialogue

Chinese president Xi Jinping has decided to skip a meeting of world leaders on climate change in New York, according to climate insiders, casting doubt on the summit’s potential to make progress ahead of next year’s major UN climate summit in Paris.

President Xi had been expected to attend the September 23 summit called by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, but is now reportedly set to send another senior Chinese politician in his place, though Beijing officials are yet to confirm this.

The news will be a blow to summit organisers, coming swiftly after the announcement that Indian prime minister Narendra Modi [and German Chancellor Angela Merkel] will also miss the meeting. Modi is scheduled to go to New York on September 26 and his decision not to advance his trip by three days to appear at the informal climate summit has created further paralysis among the bureaucrats. Most of them don’t even know if the environment minister is planning to go instead. […]

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s informal summit comes as climate negotiations are heating up because a comprehensive global treaty to tackle climate change is expected by the end of 2015. Industrialised countries – led by the US and the European Union – are pressing for all 192 nations to take on legally binding obligations to rein in GHG emissions. India has so far opposed this strongly. […]

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