In total, 120 leaders have already confirmed they will be attending.
Yet Putin’s presence was considered quite key to the success of the summit. Here’s why.
Russia was the fourth largest CO2 emitting nation back in 2019. It was solely responsible for producing slightly under 5% of the world’s emissions.
Russia is also the second largest foreign oil supplier to the US.
Climate Change Tracker, an independent scientific analysis website, has dubbed the country “critically insufficient” in its policies, as it has not put enough money towards to tackling the issue and falls short with its domestic target.
Yet the Russian government maintains that addressing climate change is “one of our foreign policy’s most important priorities”.
Putin has not directly commented on why he won’t be attending COP26 either, even though he previously stated that he will be taking part. He is still expected to partake in the conference virtually and Russia has promised to still send a strong delegation.
Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said the prime minster was urging all world leaders to attend “given this is a very critical moment in terms of tackling climate change”.
The UK is therefore expected to be very disappointed at Putin’s absence, especially as it undermines how much change the summit can really implement.