The US president has said the leaders of China and Russia lost world influence by not coming to the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow.
Joe Biden said this evening:
“I think it’s been a big mistake, quite frankly, for China not showing up. The rest of the world will have looked at China and say what value added have they provided.
“They’ve lost an ability to influence people around the world and all the people here at COP. The same way I would argue with regard to Russia.
Speaking at a news conference at the end of the two-day world leaders’ summit, Mr Biden said:
“We showed up and by showing up we’ve had a profound impact on the way I think the rest of the world is looking at the United States and its leadership role.”
Asked what he would say to people who were worried or angry about the climate, President Biden said:
“There’s a reason for people to be worried. I’m worried. I’m worried if we don’t continue to move forward and make the kind of progress we’re making.”
But he said he was cautiously optimistic about a solution to the climate crisis because people had “a different perspective” now. They had seen floods, wildfires and hurricanes that they thought would never happen.
He said new thinking was being led by his granddaughter and her friends. That generation, he said, were having “a profound impact on their parents and their grandparents.”
“Eyes of the world on negotiators”
In a separate news conference, Boris Johnson said the absence of President Xi of China did not mean that the Chinese were not engaging in the climate talks.
There had been progress with China, he said, and discussions were underway on when it would reach peak carbon emissions.
Mr Johnson also warned:
”We must take care to guard against false hope and to think in any way that the job is done, because it is not. There is still a very long way to go.”
Referring to agreements made in the past two days on deforestation and cutting methane emissions, he said
“Those commitments will be 100% useless if the promises made here are not followed up with real action.”
He said he would be watching closely to ensure there were no U-turns, no sliding back from we’ve got to.
In a message to negotiators who remain at COP until 12 November, he said
“The leaders of the world may have left or are leaving COP now but I can tell you that the eyes of the populations of the world are on you.”
DrillOrDrop’s reporting from COP26 has been made possible by individual donations from readers