Nyet Coming: Vladimir Putin to Snub Boris Johnson’s Big Climate Summit

Russia's President Vladimir Putin holds a press conference after meeting with US President in Geneva on June 16, 2021. (Photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

In another blow to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s climate summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that he will not attend the meeting.

Following reports that Chinese dictator Xi Jinping will likely not be travelling to Glasgow next month to attend the United Nations’ COP26 climate summit, the Kremlin said on Wednesday that Mr Putin will also skip the event.

Without providing an explanation on why the Russian leader will not attend, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said simply per the BBC: “Unfortunately, Putin will not fly to Glasgow.”

The spokesmen went on to claim that despite this, climate change is one of Russia’s “most important priorities” in terms of foreign policy, perhaps indicating it was a problem Russia expected other nations to solve. It is thought that Mr Putin may appear virtually at COP26.

Commenting on the announcement, a spokesman for Boris Johnson said that the PM had previously stressed the importance of attending the summit to other leaders “given this is a very critical moment in terms of tackling climate change”.

The summit has been seen as a launching point for Johnson’s Great Reset-style green vision and to demonstrate the ability of a ‘Global Britain’ to enact change upon the world following the UK’s departure from the European Union.

With Mr Putin — who represents the fourth-largest emitter of carbon dioxide — declining the invitation and the leader of the world’s top polluter, Xi Jinping of China, most likely skipping the meeting as well, it is dubious as to how effective the summit will be in terms of enacting any meaningful changes.

Johnson’s summit will be graced by U.S. President Joe Biden, who will travel to Glasgow with a large delegation, and will be joined by former President Barack Obama.

Despite early non-commital, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is also set to attend.

While the Prime Minister may be unable to get concessions from China or Russia, estimates have forecast that his green agenda will cost Britain a trillion pounds sterling over the next three decades.

The director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Paul Johnson told the Daily Mail: “We are looking at well over a trillion pounds over the next 30 years as we build more renewable electricity, as we convert our houses, as we move to electric cars and so on.”

The Treasury Department is claiming that the majority of the cost will come through increased prices to consumers or through private investment.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister outlined his ten-point plan for a “green industrial revolution” in Britain to meet his lofty goal of cutting carbon emissions to net-zero by the year 2050.

Stylizing himself as the Moses of the green movement, Mr Johnson said that his plan is the  “new Decalogue that I brought down from Sinai last year, which is today being elaborated in our plan for net-zero, to build back greener”.

Doubts have been raised, however, about sections of his Build Back Better agenda, namely Johnson’s plan to end the sale of gas boilers by the year 2035. Initially, the government had promised that citizens will be able to recoup some of the cost of transitioning their boilers with a £5,000 voucher.

Yet, it was revealed that only 90,000 homes would receive the voucher, compared to the 600,000 homes which will need to make the shift in order to hit the governments emissions targets.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.