US-China Agreement on Emissions Welcomed by Global Figures and Climate Experts | Cop26 – Community News
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US-China Agreement on Emissions Welcomed by Global Figures and Climate Experts | Cop26

An unexpected agreement between the US and China to work together to reduce emissions has been widely welcomed by leaders and climate experts.

The world’s two biggest emitters seemed to put their differences aside at the Cop26 climate summit on Wednesday, unveiling a joint statement that would ensure close collaboration on emissions reductions scientists say will take over the next 10 years to reach 1.5°C. to stay.

The agreement calls for “concrete and pragmatic” regulations on decarbonisation, reducing methane emissions and combating deforestation, China’s climate envoy Xie Zhenhua said in Glasgow.

The two countries will revive a working group that “will meet regularly to address the climate crisis and advance the multilateral process, with an emphasis on strengthening concrete actions in this decade,” the joint statement said.

World leaders and climate experts broadly welcomed the agreement, with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling the move “an important step in the right direction”.

Genevieve Maricle, director of U.S. climate policy at WWF, said the world’s two largest economies “have the power to unleash massive public and private sector financial flows that could accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

A bilateral deal between the US and China in 2014 gave a huge push toward the historic Paris accord the following year, but that collaboration ended with the Trump administration, which pulled America out of the pact.

“While this isn’t a game-changer in the way the 2014 US-China climate deal was, in many ways it’s just such a step forward given the geopolitical state of the relationship,” said Thom Woodroofe, a climate expert. between the US and China. conversations. “It means that the intense level of dialogue between the US and China on climate can now translate into cooperation.”

EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans agreed that the pact offered room for hope. “It shows… that the US and China know that this topic transcends other issues. And it certainly helps us here at Cop26 to reach an agreement,” Timmermans told Reuters.

The Climate Council’s head of research, Dr Simon Bradshaw, described the focus on accelerating action this decade as “significant”.

Still, some experts noted that the statement contained too few commitments that would significantly reduce the gases that trap heat.

“It’s a good sign that the world’s two biggest emitters can actually work together to face humanity’s greatest crisis, but there’s not much meat left after the methane thing,” said Byford Tsang, China policy analyst for the European Union. think tank E3G.

Bernice Lee, research director at Chatham House, said US-China cooperation has been positive: “details remain patchy”.

“The statement is not enough to close the deal. The real test from Washington and Beijing is how hard they are pushing for a 1.5C agreement here in Glasgow.”

Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report

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