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Russian President Vladimir Putin during a governmental meeting in Moscow on Oct. 20. Photo: Alexey Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

The Kremlin said Wednesday that Russian President Putin will not travel to the United Nations climate summit that starts in Glasgow, Scotland, on Oct. 31 but will take part remotely while other representatives attend in person, according to Reuters.

Why it matters: A lack of a physical appearance from the leader of the fourth largest carbon dioxide-emitting country in the world would be a blow to the crucial climate talks.

  • The talks, called COP26, have been considered a make-or-break moment for securing necessary greenhouse gas emission cuts to avoid potentially catastrophic levels of climate change during the next several decades.
  • Putin's withdrawal comes after another prominent bow out from Pope Francis.

What they're saying: Speaking during an energy conference last week, Putin signaled that he was reluctant to attend in person because of the risk of spreading coronavirus, according to the New York Times.

  • Putin said earlier this month Russia was ready for dialogue to seek ways to tackle climate change and that it would strive to be carbon neutral no later than 2060.

The big picture: It's also unclear if Chinese President Xi Jinping will make a physical appearance, as he hasn't traveled internationally for more than 600 days — the longest streak of any G20 leader.

Go deeper: Putin supports week at home for workers amid rising COVID-19 deaths

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 19, 2021 - Energy & Environment

What moves the climate communications needle

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A new paper finds that words used in news stories to label climate change are less consequential than whether stories emphasize harm or solutions.

Driving the news: Researchers tested engagement with "climate crisis" and "climate emergency" — phrasing that has gained media traction — and "climate change."

Poll: 52% of Americans say they've experienced effects of global warming

Expand chart
Data: "Climate Change in the American Mind;" Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

According to new results from a national poll from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, a record high of seven-in-10 Americans said they are at least "somewhat worried" about global warming. This beats out the findings from the same question dating back to 2008.

Why it matters: Americans are increasingly perceiving climate change as a current danger affecting them personally, a development that could shift attitudes toward federal policy.

Nov 19, 2021 - World

Top Democrat proposes crushing sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) has introduced an amendment that would trigger a cascade of sanctions against top Russian officials, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, major financial institutions, sovereign debt transactions and more in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Why it matters: U.S. officials have been sounding the alarm about Russia's massive military buildup on the eastern border of Ukraine. The sanctions threat is intended to serve as a powerful deterrent against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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