The COP26 climate summit is about keeping the planet within the 1.5-degree warming target, but for Scott Morrison it was more of a six-degree separation.
At a meeting chaired by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Morrison sat on the outside of a panel of world leaders, made worse by the failure of his neighbor – the Argentine delegate – to show up.
A desolate-looking Mr. Morrison was so distant from Mr. Johnson that he may have been thinking more about the cold shoulder than tackling global warming.
Scott Morrison (pictured second right) seemingly gets the cold shoulder at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow
As the British leader had elbowed with Nisreen Elsaim, the chair of the UN Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change, Mr Morrison could only watch from afar and take some notes.
The Argentine delegate appeared to have failed to show up, creating an even greater rift between Mr Morrison and the center of the action, but he did not go to the empty seat, possibly so as not to annoy world leaders after a diplomatic dispute with France. President Emmanuel Macron on who said what and when.
He was also hanged by world leaders as he tried to interfere at the G20 summit in Rome last weekend.
The warm conversation between US President Joe Biden and French President Emanuel Macron was far from the icy and awkward handshake Morrison shared with Macron
The prime minister seemed to get more cold shoulders than handshakes during the apparently awkward meetings at the summit.
Mr Morrison and other leaders had gathered on a podium as they waited for a group photo to be taken.
As other leaders chatted, Mr. Morrison was seen jumping back and forth between the groups, struggling to get their attention.
He patted Rwandan President Paul Kagame on the back, but failed to get his attention when Kagame continued to shake hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-In.
Scott Morrison was hanged by world leaders after struggling to shake hands at the G20 summit (pictured, Scott Morrison with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and South Korean President Moon Jae-In)
Mr. Morrison stood alone, clumsily folding his face mask in his hands as he looked around the room.
On stage, US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron appeared to be all smiles as they talked to each other.
The leaders met briefly on the sidelines of the G20 summit, just two days after a first phone call since Australia opted for nuclear-powered submarines in partnership with the US and Britain in the AUKUS pact.
Morrison told reporters that he only briefly bumped into the French leader and said “g’day” and that he hoped they would be able to speak more later.
Diplomatic tensions between France and Australia have escalated since Australia withdrew from a $90 billion deal with France to produce the next generation of submarines.
Hours after the pair shared the awkward exchange at the summit, the French president made his feelings known about Mr Morrison during a fiery exchange with Australian journalists.
“We will see what he will deliver,” Macron told reporters on Sunday.
‘I have great respect for your country, great respect and friendship for your people. I’m just saying that if we have respect, you must be honest and behave in line and consistent with this value.
The French President was asked whether the Australian Prime Minister had lied.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives at the G20 summit of world leaders to discuss climate change, Covid-19 and the post-pandemic global recovery during the G20 summit in downtown La Nuvola, Rome, Italy
“I don’t think so, I know,” Macron replied before closing further questions.
Mr Morrison has since dropped the claims at a press conference.
“No,” he replied when asked if he had lied to President Macron.
He added that decisions he makes are in the best interest of Australia.
“I will always stand up for Australia’s interests,” Mr Morrison reiterated.
“These decisions are difficult. Of course it has led to disappointment and has had an impact on the relationship with France.’
He added that he had explained to Macron “very clearly” a few months ago that the submarines ordered from France “would not meet Australia’s interests”.
It is not the first time Morrison has been left alone as the prime minister cuts a lone figure at the G7 summit in France in 2019.
At the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, Morrison continued to stare at his phone as then-US President Donald Trump mingled with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Footage showed the leaders socializing with a somber-looking Mr Morrison standing alone in the background, despite his wife Jenny being present.
It’s not the first time Mr Morrison has been left alone when surrounded by world leaders (pictured, a lone Scott Morrison at the G7 summit in 2019)