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Which world leaders will—and won’t—be at COP26?

China's leader Xi Jinping speaking
REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo
A notable absence; China’s Xi Jinping won’t be at COP26
  • Amanda Shendruk
By Amanda Shendruk

Visual journalist


This weekend, attendees from across the world are arriving in Glasgow for COP26, the world’s largest climate conference. Organizers of the global summit, which begins on Oct. 31 and will run until Nov. 12, say they expect to see 30,000 participants. Among them will be at least 126 world leaders, representing 66% of countries on earth. It includes US president Joe Biden, Germany’s outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel, and Canada’s Justin Trudeau.

There will be some notable absences as well. Xi Jinping, the president of China, won’t be at the conference. China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Russia’s Vladimir Putin will not be attending either; nor will Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil.

These countries will likely still be represented by large delegations; a no-show leader doesn’t mean the nation will be left out of talks. The more concerning absences, however, are those from smaller countries, primarily in the global south, and the leaders of small island nations, all of which will be disproportionately affected by climate change.

Here’s a list of world leaders that are on the most recent official speaker’s list (pdf). It’s unlikely that unlisted leaders will be attending, but we can’t be sure. Event organizers have yet to respond to Quartz’s questions. And of course, these are just those who are on the schedule. When it comes to geo-political events, plans can change last minute.

The list of world leaders attending and speaking at COP26

Country or regionHead of state speaking?
Afghanistan❌ No
Albania✅ Yes
Algeria❌ No
Andorra✅ Yes
Angola✅ Yes
Antigua and Barbuda✅ Yes
Argentina✅ Yes
Armenia✅ Yes
Australia✅ Yes
Austria❌ No
Azerbaijan❌ No
Bahamas✅ Yes
Bahrain✅ Yes
Bangladesh✅ Yes
Barbados✅ Yes
Belarus❌ No
Belgium✅ Yes
Belize✅ Yes
Benin❌ No
Bhutan❌ No
Bolivia✅ Yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina✅ Yes
Botswana❌ No
Brazil❌ No
Brunei Darussalam❌ No
Bulgaria✅ Yes
Burkina Faso✅ Yes
Burundi❌ No
Cape Verde✅ Yes
Cambodia❌ No
Cameroon❌ No
Canada✅ Yes
Central African Republic✅ Yes
Chad❌ No
Chile❌ No
China❌ No
Colombia✅ Yes
Comoros✅ Yes
Congo✅ Yes
Costa Rica✅ Yes
Côte D’Ivoire❌ No
Croatia✅ Yes
Cuba❌ No
Cyprus✅ Yes
Czech Republic✅ Yes
DR Congo✅ Yes
Denmark✅ Yes
Djibouti❌ No
Dominica✅ Yes
Dominican Republic✅ Yes
Ecuador✅ Yes
Egypt✅ Yes
El Salvador❌ No
Equatorial Guinea✅ Yes
Eritrea❌ No
Estonia✅ Yes
Eswatini✅ Yes
Ethiopia❌ No
Fiji✅ Yes
Finland✅ Yes
France✅ Yes
Gabon✅ Yes
Gambia❌ No
Georgia✅ Yes
Germany✅ Yes
Ghana✅ Yes
Greece✅ Yes
Grenada❌ No
Guatemala❌ No
Guinea❌ No
Guinea Bissau✅ Yes
Guyana✅ Yes
Haiti❌ No
Honduras✅ Yes
Hungary✅ Yes
Iceland✅ Yes
India✅ Yes
Indonesia✅ Yes
Iran❌ No
Iraq✅ Yes
Ireland✅ Yes
Israel✅ Yes
Italy✅ Yes
Jamaica✅ Yes
Japan✅ Yes
Jordan✅ Yes
Kazakhstan✅ Yes
Kenya✅ Yes
Kiribati❌ No
Kuwait✅ Yes
Kyrgyzstan✅ Yes
Laos❌ No
Latvia✅ Yes
Lebanon✅ Yes
Lesotho✅ Yes
Liberia✅ Yes
Libya✅ Yes
Liechtenstein✅ Yes
Lithuania✅ Yes
Luxembourg✅ Yes
Madagascar✅ Yes
Malawi✅ Yes
Malaysia❌ No
Maldives✅ Yes
Mali❌ No
Malta✅ Yes
Marshall Islands❌ No
Mauritania✅ Yes
Mauritius✅ Yes
Mexico❌ No
Micronesia❌ No
Monaco✅ Yes
Mongolia✅ Yes
Montenegro✅ Yes
Morocco✅ Yes
Mozambique✅ Yes
Myanmar❌ No
Namibia✅ Yes
Nauru❌ No
Nepal✅ Yes
Netherlands✅ Yes
New Zealand❌ No
Nicaragua❌ No
Niger✅ Yes
Nigeria✅ Yes
North Korea❌ No
North Macedonia✅ Yes
Norway✅ Yes
Oman❌ No
Pakistan✅ Yes
Palau✅ Yes
Palestine✅ Yes
Panama✅ Yes
Papua New Guinea✅ Yes
Paraguay❌ No
Peru❌ No
Philippines❌ No
Poland✅ Yes
Portugal✅ Yes
Qatar✅ Yes
South Korea✅ Yes
Moldova✅ Yes
Romania✅ Yes
Russia❌ No
Rwanda✅ Yes
Saint Kitts and Nevis❌ No
Saint Lucia✅ Yes
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines❌ No
Samoa❌ No
San Marino✅ Yes
Sao Tome and Principe✅ Yes
Saudi Arabia✅ Yes
Senegal❌ No
Serbia✅ Yes
Seychelles✅ Yes
Sierra Leone✅ Yes
Singapore❌ No
Slovakia✅ Yes
Slovenia✅ Yes
Solomon Islands❌ No
Somalia❌ No
South Africa❌ No
South Sudan❌ No
Spain✅ Yes
Sri Lanka✅ Yes
Sudan✅ Yes
Suriname✅ Yes
Sweden✅ Yes
Switzerland✅ Yes
Syria❌ No
Tajikistan✅ Yes
Thailand✅ Yes
Timor-Leste❌ No
Togo✅ Yes
Tonga❌ No
Trinidad and Tobago✅ Yes
Tunisia❌ No
Turkey✅ Yes
Turkmenistan❌ No
Tuvalu✅ Yes
Uganda❌ No
UK✅ Yes
Ukraine✅ Yes
Tanzania✅ Yes
Uruguay❌ No
US✅ Yes
Uzbekistan❌ No
Vanuatu❌ No
Venezuela❌ No
Vietnam✅ Yes
Yemen❌ No
Zambia✅ Yes
Zimbabwe✅ Yes

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