Who is attending COP26? Country leaders and other attendees at 2021 Glasgow climate change summit

Chinese president Xi Jinping will not attend COP26 in person - reports

COP26 will take place in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November, but which leaders will be attending the climate change summit and who else will be going?

Here’s what you need to know.

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What is COP26?

For nearly three decades the United Nations has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits named ‘Conference of the Parties’ - also known as COP.

This year will be the 26th annual summit, hence why it is called COP26, and with the UK as President, the summit will take place in Glasgow.

The climate talks will bring together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree steps that need to be taken to tackle climate change.

COP26 key facts: all you need to know about 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference. (Graphic: Kim Mogg / JPIMedia)

Who is attending COP26?

In the run up to COP26 the UK is working with every nation to reach agreement on how to tackle climate change.

The UK government website said: “As COP26 Presidency, the UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire action ahead of COP26.”

World leaders will arrive in Scotland, alongside tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens for twelve days of talks.

Over 100 world leaders are expected to attend the conference, with President of the United States Joe Biden, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and Her Majesty the Queen all confirmed as attending COP26.

There will also be some other famous faces attending the climate change conference, including climate activists and cultural leaders.

Sir David Attenborough has been named as the COP26 People’s Advocate, which means he will address world leaders and other attendees during the summit.

Pietro Parolin, Cardinal Secretary of State of Vatican City, and Greta Thunberg, will also be attending the summit.

One person who won’t be at COP26 in person is Chinese president Xi Jinping, according to The Times.

The paper reports that British organisers fear Xi's decision to stay away could be a prelude to China refusing to set new climate change goals amid an energy crunch.

Though it remains unclear as to whether Xi, who has not left the People's Republic since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, will join the conference with global leaders via video link.

What is the Paris Agreement?

COP21 took place in Paris in 2015, where, for the first time ever, every country agreed to work together to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees and aim for 1.5 degrees, as well as adapting to the impacts of a changing climate and to make money available to deliver these aims. This became known as the Paris Agreement.

Under the Paris Agreement, countries committed to bring forward national plans setting out how much they would reduce their emissions by, known as Nationally Determined Contributions.

The countries also agreed that every five years they would come back with an updated plan that would reflect their highest possible ambition at that time.

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