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The United States and China Commit to Climate Cooperation - E24

The United States and China Commit to Climate Cooperation – E24

The United States and China, the world’s two largest emitters, are resuming cooperation on climate change.

Then-US Secretary of State John Kerry and Shi Xinhua, head of the Chinese negotiating delegation, before the historic Paris Agreement was adopted at the United Nations climate conference in Paris in 2015. Now the two have agreed to resume cooperation.

Berit Roald / NTB

US special envoy for climate change John Kerry went to the South Korean capital, Seoul, after two days of climate talks in Shanghai, China.

US Embassy in Seoul via AP / NTB

Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Han Zheng (right) at a video conference in Beijing with US climate envoy John Kerry in Shanghai on Friday.

Zhang Ling / Xinhua via AP / NTB


The agreement was reached in talks between US climate envoy John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinhua over the weekend, a joint said. statement.

Climate envoys say, “The United States and China are committed to cooperating with each other and with other countries to deal with the climate crisis, which must be dealt with with seriousness and speed.”

Kerry spent two days in Shanghai holding talks with the Chinese ahead of President Joe Biden’s upcoming climate summit.

Ahead of the UN climate conference in Glasgow in November, both China and the United States will aim to develop long-term plans to achieve climate neutrality, according to the statement.

You want with something

The President of the United States organizes the next Thursday and Friday the Digital Climate Summit. Biden has invited 40 world leaders. Among the participants is Prime Minister Erna Solberg (h). Chinese President Xi Jinping has not confirmed that he will attend, although according to the joint statement, China is looking forward to the summit.

We really hope he will participate, says Kerry, who met the press in South Korea after the Shanghai talks.

Kerry described the language in the joint statement as strong, and he believes the two countries have agreed on “critical elements about what we must go to.”

In the Chinese delegation, Su Wei said the main achievement in the talks in Shanghai was the resumption of dialogue and cooperation between China and the United States on climate challenges.

Su told Chinese state television that the two countries have agreed on important areas in which they will cooperate on climate in the future.

– You won’t pay

In recent years, relations between the United States and China have become more and more tense, including in areas such as trade, human rights, and the origins of the Corona pandemic.

Each country, of course, must make its own decision. We don’t want to pressure anyone. “We want to cooperate,” says Kerry.

The United States and other countries are expected to announce before or during the summit more ambitious national targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Increased financial contributions to climate efforts in less prosperous countries should also be announced.

Developments in China and the United States are critical in the effort to reduce global emissions. Together, the countries account for nearly half of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

It uses a lot of charcoal

China aims to be climate neutral by 2060. Analysts have warned that the country is dependent on coal and that modest short-term goals may inhibit ambition.

The United States, like the European Union, aims to be climate neutral by 2050.

Kerry stated that China currently possesses half of the world’s coal energy. According to him, they have a lot to talk to the Chinese about.

– But I don’t want to point to anyone. We have a lot of coal, other countries have a lot of coal, and China is the largest consumer of coal in the world, he said.

– not easy

It remains to be seen how important Kerry’s visit to China is for future climate cooperation. While Kerry was still in Shanghai, Deputy Foreign Minister Li Yucheng indicated that it was unlikely that China would make any new promises at the summit.

“For a large country of 1.4 billion people, these goals are not easy to achieve,” Luo told the Associated Press.

– Some countries asked China to achieve the targets earlier. “I am afraid it is not realistic,” he added.

US President Joe Biden has put climate high on the agenda, while his predecessor Donald Trump wanted to focus more on coal.


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