Putin snubs COP26: Russian president won’t attend Glasgow climate summit

20 October 2021, 10:58 | Updated: 26 October 2021, 14:30

Putin will not attend the UK-hosted COP26
Putin will not attend the UK-hosted COP26. Picture: Getty

By Daisy Stephens

President of Russia Vladimir Putin will not fly to Glasgow for the COP26 summit in Glasgow, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.

It is a major setback to Britain's hopes of making significant progress on climate change talks during the conference.

COP26 will see leaders from around the world gather to discuss plans to tackle the climate crisis.

Mr Putin said last week that he may not attend, citing concerns about Covid-19.

It comes as Russia recently reported its highest number of daily new coronavirus infections - more than 70 per cent up on last month.

Covid-related deaths have also surged to a daily record, with 1,028 reported in 24 hours.

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Speaking to CNBC, Mr Putin added that he would "still participate in the work of the COP26", despite not attending in person.

Russia joined the landmark Paris Agreement six years ago at COP21 in Paris, aiming to cut emissions to 70 per cent of its levels from 1990 by 2030.

Unlike others involved in the agreement, the country intends to reach net zero by 2060.

World leaders including US president Joe Biden and France's Emmanual Macron have confirmed they will be attending the event for crucial climate talks.

However, it is still unknown whether China's Xi Jinping will attend, with an announcement yet to be made due to the pandemic.