China has defended its climate policy after criticism from US President Joe Biden. He had spoken of shame about the absence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and other world leaders at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
“Deeds outweigh words,” said a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Xi has not left China since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, nor is he coming to COP26, even though his country is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. That annoyed Biden, who called climate change a “huge” problem.
He said the absent world leaders are missing an opportunity to “influence people worldwide and here at the COP”.
China’s foreign ministry said tackling climate change “benefits more from concrete policies than empty words”. The spokesperson emphasized that China is taking serious steps to tackle climate change. The country aims to be carbon neutral by 2060 and has reforested 9,800 hectares of land on the day Biden expressed his criticism.