Apr 13, 2020 - Energy & Environment

The coronavirus pandemic upends climate diplomacy

Chinese President Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

China might delay submitting revised climate plans to the United Nations "at least until after the U.S. presidential election in November as officials focus on reviving the economy from an unprecedented slowdown," Climate Home News reports.

Why it matters: China is the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, and the story signals how the coronavirus-related postponement of critical United Nations talks, which had been slated for November, could shake up the landscape.

  • Under the 2015 Paris agreement, countries are supposed to submit revised emissions pledges to the UN this year.

The intrigue: The delay will give countries time to adjust their posture in response to the outcome of the U.S. presidential election, which otherwise would have occurred just a few days before the talks.

  • The new 2021 date for talks in Glasgow, Scotland has not yet been set.

Go deeper: Making sense of the UN's climate conference coronavirus delay

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