LONDON (CU)_The summit on climate and development, organised by the United Kingdom, appears to be the latest victim of an ongoing row between London and Beijing.
While ministers from around 35 countries, including the US, the EU and India, will participate in the meeting today (31 March), however, China will not be present, despite the invitation extended by London.
Last week, China imposed sanctions on several individuals and organisations in the United Kingdom over what it described as “lies and disinformation” about Xinjiang. The move was in response to similar restrictions announced by the UK on Chinese officials over human rights abuses in the western Chinese region.
According to a spokesman for the UN Climate Summit (COP26), the United Kingdom looked forward to working with China on climate change issues “in this critical year ahead of COP26”.
The Climate and Development Ministerial, which will be held later today, has been recognised as a key event in the run up to the COP26 in Glasgow in November. Although China was included in the list invitees which was published two weeks ago, however, when the final list of participants were issues, China was noted to be absent.
With China being the world’s biggest carbon emitter, the country was expected to play a key role at the event, given the fact that other major emitters such as the US, the EU and India will also be present.
Today’s meeting will be hosted by COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
It is seen as an important platform for climate action, particularly with ministers from countries which are most vulnerable to climate change expected to participate. They will highlight the fact that while these threatened island states and poor countries contribute little to the causes of climate change, they are however feeling the effects already.