The US and China pledged to work together to fight climate change in a surprising joint announcement at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, on Wednesday, with China’s special climate negotiator saying Beijing will come up with a plan to cut methane emissions.
In a joint statement called “Declaration for Enhanced Climate Action in the 2020”, Washington and Beijing emphasize the importance of limiting the average increase in global temperature to pre-industrial levels of 1.5 degrees Celsius and below 2 degrees Celsius. Washington Post reports.
Reuters reports that China’s special climate envoy Xie Zhenhua said China would draft a plan to reduce methane emissions – which was a top priority for the US delegation at the climate conference.
Xie said in a press release that Beijing and Washington should “actively address climate change” and that the cooperation between the two superpowers would benefit “people around the world”.
The announcement came as a surprise as Chinese President Xi Jinping failed to attend this year’s COP26 climate conference in Scotland and China has been criticized by President Biden and others for failing to fight the climate crisis.
“This is science,” US climate envoy John Kerry said in a press release. He added that “we cannot achieve our goals” unless countries work together.
38%. That’s the percentage of global greenhouse gas emissions that China and the US were jointly responsible for in 2019, according to research firm Rhodium Group. China was the largest polluter, responsible for 27% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, followed by the US’s share of 11%.
Biden expresses his ‘disappointment’ at the absence of China and Russia at the G20 summit (Forbes)
China says it has reached agreement with US to boost cooperation on climate change (Reuters)
China’s climate envoy says in joint statement US and China agreed to increase cooperation on climate change (Associated Press)