One of the most famous episodes of the climate conference held in Copenhagen in 2009, when then US President Barack Obama, accompanied by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, «break inIn a room where the leaders of Brazil, China and India met on the sidelines of the conference to make arrangements in secret. Obama knew about the secret meeting and knew Established To participate even if not invited. The dialogue that started with that ‘intrusion’, tell time The New York TimesNegotiations, which were stalled at that moment, and were essential to reach the final agreement of the conference, resumed.
The agreement was somewhat disappointing: experts, and the same heads of state and government who participated in it, remember the COP15 conference in Copenhagen as a largely missed opportunity. But Obama’s activity in those days was remembered Even recently As proof that the personal initiative of leaders can be critical and produce results that are often impossible for delegations of junior officials. This is a problem for COP26 in Glasgow, where some of the world’s top leaders decided not to attend.
Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and Jair Bolsonaro, the presidents of China, Russia and Brazil respectively, are not present in Glasgow. There is also a shortage of leaders from other notable countries, such as Portugal, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey. The reasons are varied: in some cases it is related to domestic or international politics, in others the reasons are more selective.
Brazilian President BolsonaroFor example, she should have participated in COP26. He even promised Ivan Duque, the president of Colombia, that the two countries would make it to Glasgow.”UnitedBut then Bolsonaro decided to avoid the conference: after participating in the G-20 in Rome, he preferred to stay in Italy, where he embarked on a small tour of Veneto and Tuscany, where his family traces back to distant origins.
Bolsonaro received honorary citizenship from Anguillara Veneta, the village in the province of Padua where his grandparents were born, and wherever he was It caused huge protests to various groups protesting his authoritarian policies, science deniersIt is inconsistent with civil rights to a large extent harm the environment.
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Because of his controversial and harmful policies, most of the world’s political leaders have tried to avoid Bolsonaro for some time: even in the G20 Ignored by almost everyone, although Brazil is a country of great importance, and no bilateral meetings were held with any major leader (except for the usual meeting with the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella, who met with all the participants).
Bolsonaro may have decided not to participate in COP26 to avoid similar dynamics. When Brazilian newspapers asked the Vice President of Brazil why Bolsonaro was not in Glasgow, the answer was He was: «You know that President Bolsonaro has been subjected to a lot of criticism. If he had gone, they would have thrown stones at him.”
However, the most significant absence in Glasgow is the absence of Xi Jinping, Chinese President: China is one of the world’s two superpowers, and the country that produces the most emissions in the world – at least in absolute terms: China’s per capita emissions are still Less than half of these are in the United States.
Xi’s only contribution to COP26 was a written intervention, significantly reaffirming the commitments already made on previous occasions to which he has been judged. disappointing by most of the participants. There are no specific reasons for Xi Jinping’s decision not to participate. The Chinese president has not traveled abroad for nearly two years, since news of the first coronavirus infection in Wuhan broke in December 2019. Since then, Xi has always stayed in China, participating in large international forums exclusively via live broadcast or, as in the case of Glasgow. , by sending written texts.
Xi is leaving China not only to avoid infection, but also because extremely strict restrictions on international travel remain in place in the country, and his participation in events abroad could be met with public discontent.
Instead, the Russian president said he would not participate because he feared infection Russian President Vladimir Putin, who spoke a few days before the start of COP26, at an energy conference, He said He is not going to Glasgow “due to the pandemic situation”. Putin said his participation in the climate conference would have required a mobilization of more than 100 people, including employees, security and other personnel: “A large number of people would be exposed.”
In any case, Putin is also quite reluctant to go abroad: for most of the epidemic, he has remained in Russia, Protected by exceptional measures To avoid infection. It was only his first trip abroad since the beginning of the epidemic in June of this year face.. accomplish US President Joe Biden in Geneva. Moreover, the epidemic situation in Russia is currently one of the most dangerous in the world, and this may also have contributed to the decision.
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However, there are also other reasons that may have advised Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin not to participate: China and Russia’s relations with the United States are the worst in many years, for economic and political reasons, and participation in COP26 would have been an implied signal. Relaxation that no country wants to offer at the moment, not even on global issues such as the fight against global warming.
Among the absent leaders is the Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, which – which Had to unsubscribe at the last minute Because his government I got into a serious crisisThe country risks holding early elections.
Perhaps the most prominent of them is the absence of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which was supposed to be in Glasgow, but after the G-20 summit in Rome he returned to Turkey.
I’m the media they said That the Turkish president would suddenly change his mind because the British government would have refused some unusual security measures (cars, bodyguards) for him and his entourage. However, the same measures could have been given to another participating delegation, none of which is known: in the face of the alleged humiliation, Erdogan had decided to return to Turkey. “We must protect the dignity of our nation,” he was quoted by Turkish newspapers as saying.
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