Who is going to COP26? The key players

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An aerial view over the Scottish city of Glasgow, looking eastwards up the River Clyde.
The COP26 conference in Glasgow hopes to address global greenhouse gas emissions. (Getty)

The COP26 climate conference in Glasgow has been described as a potential 'turning point for humanity’, by Boris Johnson. 

The UN conference will set out new goals for hundreds of countries to deal with climate change, but activist Greta Thunberg has warned that the conference is unlikely to ‘lead to big changes’. 

Leaders such as Chinese president Xi Jinping, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and Russian president Vladimir Putin are not expected to attend. 

China is the world’s largest emitter of CO2, as it is behind 27% of global carbon emissions, according to research by Rhodium Group. 

Leaders hope to build on the Paris Agreement (agreed at COP21 in Paris in 2015), where 191 countries agreed to limit global warming below 2C.

Countries have been asked to propose emissions reduction targets for 2030 (known as nationally determined contributions, or NDCs) to align with an overall goal of reaching ‘net zero’ by 2050. 

Read more: A 1988 warning about climate change was mostly right 

Dozens of countries have still not submitted revised emissions goals, including some of the worst polluters in the world. 

Countries responsible for around a third of global greenhouse gas emissions – including China, India, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – have not yet come forward with new goals. 

Our graphic shows some of the key players (and most important no-shows) at the conference. 

The key players who are – and aren't – going to COP26 (Flourish)
The key players who are – and aren't – going to COP26 (Flourish)
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