President Xi Jinping of China and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that they have no intention of attending a day-long meeting of world leaders scheduled for Sept. 23 to discuss cutting greenhouse gasses and climate change.
While few expected much to come out of said meeting, the fact that the leaders of the two largest culprits regarding greenhouse gasses essentially ensures that nothing will come out of the meeting. Their expected absence is according to two UN diplomats who asked not to be identified.
Actually, the United States is the second largest greenhouse-gas emitter, but the United States numbers are shrinking while China and India continue to emit more and more and make up a third of the world’s total emissions.
Climate Change Summit: Don’t anger the Marshall Islands
“I was completely shocked and very disappointed to read today that Chinese President Xi and Indian Prime Minister Modi may not make it to Ban Ki-moon’s Climate Summit,” Tony deBrum, foreign minister of the Marshall Islands, in the northern Pacific Ocean, said in a statement. “For the small island states of the world, the science says we might be forced to pay the biggest price of all — the loss of our countries. We expect solidarity from our developing country compatriots, not excuses.”
China and India have long suggested that the United States, Japan and the richer countries in Europe should be responsible for paying out $100 billion to smaller nations forced to cope with global warming and each have been as stubborn as a three year old when it comes to cutting their own, primarily-coal and dirty coal driven, emissions.
“The issue for us is really on the commitments that countries will bring and the secretary general expects member states to come with strong and bold commitments on climate change,” Ban’s spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said yesterday in New York.
“I hope the climate summit will be a turning point for generating climate action and mobilizing political will for a meaningful, universal climate agreement next year,” Ban said in a blog post this week.
The September meeting is just that, a meeting. While negotiation sessions will take place in Lima, Peru in December followed by another in Paris in 2015.
“China has been pursuing emission reduction and we have been making our contribution to the international campaign against climate change,” Qin said during his daily briefing in Beijing today.
And that, apparently, is all they have to say on the matter for now.