China and Russia looking at attending COP26 via video link Have to turn up in person!

BBC Newsnight: China and Russia set to attend COP26 via video link

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Former prime minister Gordon Brown has suspected that President Xi jinping of China and President Putin of Russia will attend Cop26 by video. However, Political editor Nicholas Watt has shut down the claim and said “there’s a very strict policy” of turning up in person for Cop26.

Speaking to BBC Newsnight, Gordon Brown said: “We’ve got to persuade people that if they do more we’ll do more. And if we do more, they will then do more.

“And it really is a negotiation, but it’s got to be involved many countries.

“And of course if China and Russia, opt out and I don’t yet know if they’re coming on by video, or they’re simply opting out.

“I suspect they’ll be there on video, and they could still be brought into this process.”

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Political editor Nicholas Watt also commented on BBC Newsnight.

He said: “There’s been a lot of focus about whether the two big guns will be no shows in Glasgow.

“And there’s an intriguing suggestion from Gordon Brown, that President Xi of China and President Putin of Russia could address the conference by video.

“That is not the plan at the moment there’s a very strict policy, that if you want to speak, you’ve got to turn up in person.

“But there is a precedent for this so last month, President Xi made a very significant address to the UN General Assembly in New York by video.”

He continued: “And he made that announcement saying that China would end the financing of overseas coal power stations.

“So you could imagine if the night before cop 26 Beijing and Moscow say, our leaders are happy to talk and they want to talk by video, it will be very difficult for Boris Johnson to say no to that because of course this is cop 26.

“The Conference of the Parties all 197 of them. They work by consensus.

“This is the first big test of the mechanism agreed in Paris in 2015.”


He went on: “It’s looking at the national contributions that you were talking about and of course, it all works by consensus.


“So I’ve just been looking at how this is panning out as we head towards Glasgow.”

Cop26, where world leaders are to meet to discuss climate action will take place at the end of this month in Glasgow. 

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