Chinese President Xi Jinping will not attend the COP26 climate conference in person.
The Times has reported that the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already been told of Xi’s upcoming absence.
The UK is hosting the global summit in Glasgow later this month and over a hundred world leaders are expected to show up.
It wants to protect the internationally agreed pledge to contain global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees by 2050 and boost support for a more radical plan to tackle climate change.
China is currently responsible for 27 per cent of global carbon emissions.
British organisers reportedly fear that the Chinese premier’s choice to avoid the summit could mean the country will refuse to set more radical climate goals.
The country is still expected to send its climate envoy Xie Zhenua to the conference.
But China has still not announced any new climate change targets in the run-up to the conference.
So far, half of the G20 countries have not put forward their nationally defined contributions either.
This includes some of the world’s largest emitters of CO2 such as India, Australia and Saudi Arabia.