China, India set to snub Cop27 leaders’ climate summit

by Chloé Farad Nov 2, 2022 in ClimateHomeNews

A weak turnout is expected from major emitters in Sharm el-Sheikh, shifting the geopolitical showdown to a G20 leaders’ summit in Bali

Narendra Modi

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi at Cop26 in Glasgow in 2021 (Photo: IISD/ENB/ Kiara Worth )


The world’s biggest emitters won’t attend a leaders’ summit kicking off the Cop27 climate talks in Egypt next week. 

More than 100 heads of states and governments are expected to attend the two-day summit, on the theme of “implementation”, in the Red Sea beach resort of Sharm el-Sheikh 7-8 November.

Amid soaring inflation and deepening geopolitical tensions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the high-level event is a moment for leaders to recommit to international climate cooperation.

But a provisional list of speakers, dated 31 October, shows that neither China’s Xi Jinping nor India’s Narendra Modi are expected to attend.

US president Joe Biden won’t make the leader segment because of an agenda clash with the US mid-term elections on 8 November. A handful of tight races will determine whether the Democrats keep hold of the Senate.

Instead, Biden will travel to Sharm el-Sheikh on the 11 November, the White House has confirmed.

Cop27 movers and shakers: Nine people shaping the climate agenda

“The absence of China and India doesn’t help inject much-needed political momentum into the talks,” Tom Evans, of think tank E3G, told Climate Home News.

In fact, showing from the G20 group of major economies is expected to be poor.

Australia’s Anthony Albanese is skipping the meeting. Defending his decision, he told reporters he “can’t be in all places at once”. “This Cop is one of implementation. It’s not one of a new policy and program,” he said.

Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau, who has the worst emissions record in the G7, isn’t on the list. A government spokesperson confirmed he isn’t going to Sharm el-Sheikh.