Updated: Oct 24, 2021
Jeremy Warner cites two critical factors hanging over the forthcoming COP26 summit in Glasgow, which threaten to make the Prime Minister’s pledges on the environment sound even hollower than usual.
The first is Xi Jinping’s likely non-attendance:
“Xi hasn’t left the country for nearly two years now, an absence from the world stage which is officially put down to China’s strict Covid policies, but is rather more plausibly explained by the current breakdown in relations with the United States and other Western democracies.
The feast without President Xi will look odd indeed, for unless there are firm commitments from China, and more importantly, a credible plan for achieving them, all other efforts will be in vain. Xi hasn’t yet definitely ruled himself out, so there is still a remote chance of Boris carrying the day, but it is not looking good.”
Second, the Prime Minister’s attachment to the green agenda threatens Britain’s foreign policy objectives:
“Boris’s needy use of the climate change agenda to carve out a new global leadership role for Britain is seriously compromising other foreign policy goals. We hold back in our criticism of China in part because without China, the pursuit of net zero is dead in the water.
Similarly with Northern Ireland; we don’t go through with threats to withdraw from the Northern Ireland Protocol because we know it would infuriate Joe Biden, and that the US President too might therefore boycott the conference. The omens are already bad enough for the event, but that would be the final straw.”
We wait and see. In the meantime, the full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it.