US and China urgently agree to work together on climate crisis – Community News
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US and China urgently agree to work together on climate crisis

China and the United States are the world’s largest carbon polluters, pumping out nearly half of the fossil fuel vapors that warm the planet’s atmosphere.

The United States and China, the world’s two biggest carbon polluters, have agreed to work with other countries to curb climate change just days before US President Joe Biden hosts a virtual summit of world leaders to discuss the issue.

The deal was reached last week by US special climate envoy John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua during two days of talks in Shanghai, the State Department said in a statement on Saturday.

“The United States and China are committed to working with each other and with other countries to address the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the seriousness and urgency it demands,” the joint statement said.

China and the United States are the world’s largest carbon polluters, pumping out nearly half of the fossil fuel vapors that warm the planet’s atmosphere.

Their cooperation is key to the success of global efforts to curb climate change, but shaky ties over human rights, trade and China’s territorial claims to Taiwan and the South China Sea threaten to undermine such efforts.

Kerry’s trip to Shanghai was the highest-ranking trip to China by a US official since Mr. Biden took office in January. From Shaghai, the former foreign minister flew to South Korea for talks.

Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, to the April 22-23 summit. The US and other countries are expected to announce more ambitious national targets for cutting carbon emissions ahead of or during the meeting, along with financial aid for climate efforts by less wealthy countries.

It is unclear to what extent Mr Kerry’s visit to China would foster US-China cooperation on climate issues.

While Mr Kerry was still in Shanghai, China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said on Friday that China is unlikely to make new pledges at next week’s summit.

“For a large country of 1.4 billion people, these goals are not easy to achieve,” said Mr. Le during an interview with The Associated Press in Beijing. “Some countries are asking China to meet the targets earlier. I’m afraid this isn’t very realistic.”

On whether Mr Xi would participate in the summit, Mr Le said that “the Chinese side is actively studying the matter.”

During a video meeting with German and French leaders Friday, Mr Xi also said that climate change “must not become a geopolitical chip, a target for attacks from other countries or an excuse for trade barriers,” although he called for closer cooperation on this issue. , according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Biden, who has said fighting global warming is one of his top priorities, allowed the United States to rejoin the Paris climate accord in the early hours of his presidency, negating the US withdrawal announced by Pastor Donald Trump. Trump was ordered, was undone.

Major greenhouse gas emitters are preparing for the next UN climate summit to be held in Glasgow, UK, in November. The summit aims to restart global efforts to keep rising global temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius, as agreed in the Paris accord.

According to the US-China statement, the two countries would “strengthen their respective actions and cooperation in multilateral processes, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.” Both countries are committed to working together and with other parties to strengthen the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

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