Biden attacks Xi, Putin for skipping COP26 summit

US President Joe Biden.(photo:Joe Biden Twitter)

New Delhi, (Asian independent) US President Joe Biden has criticised the leaders of China and Russia for not turning up to the UN COP26 climate summit currently underway in Glasgow, the BBC reported.

In a speech on Tuesday night, Biden said climate was “a gigantic issue” and China “walked away” – adding it was the “same thing with Russia and Putin”.

Neither Russian President Vladimir Putin nor Chinese President Xi Jinping were at the summit.

Both countries however have sent delegations to the talks, which are due to run for two weeks until November 12.

China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, followed by the US. Russia is the fifth largest after the EU and India, the report said.

More than 120 leaders turned up at the conference in Scotland’s largest city.

Both China and Russia are signatories of the pledge to reverse deforestation.

Before Biden’s speech, Putin virtually addressed a meeting on forest management at the COP26 summit on Tuesday, saying that Russia takes the “strongest and most vigorous measures to conserve” woodlands, according to a Kremlin press release.

The US president made his comments when asked about the role that other countries, including China, Russia and Saudi Arabia, have played in talks so far.

“The fact that China is trying to assert, understandably, a new role in the world as a world leader – not showing up, come on,” Biden said, adding that Xi’s absence was a “big mistake”, the BBC report said.

He said the same about Putin, saying that Russia’s wilderness was burning and their president “stays mum” about the issue.

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