Tuesday, December 7

China and the US pledge to “work together” on climate change


Updated

The “new understanding” between Washington and Beijing comes just two days after the Obama accuse China and Russia of not responding to “the urgency of the problem”

John Kerry speaks after the China-US deal
John Kerry speaks after the China-US dealJEFF J MITCHELLAFP
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It was the surprise announcement that few expected and that has given an unusual boost to the final stretch of the Glasgow Cop26: China and the United States, the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world, have committed to “working together” on climate change in chapters such as methane and in sectors such as transportation, energy and industry.

The Chinese negotiator Xie Zhenzhua finally came out of the shadows and filled the void left by the president Xi Jinping with a sudden appearance before the cameras, acknowledging that climate change “has become an increasingly urgent challenge.”

“We hope that this joint statement will serve to make Cop26 a success,” Zhenzhua said. “We both recognize that there is a gap between current efforts and the Paris agreement… So we have decided to reinforce Paris’s cooperative efforts and accelerate the transition to a green, low-carbon economy. “

The special envoy of the North American climate John Kerry also capitalized on the success when announcing the new meeting point with Pekn, yet to be defined: “The world’s two largest economies have agreed to work together on emissions throughout this decisive decade.”

Kerry anticipates that the two passes will work out one “Roadmap” about future collaboration. “China and the United States have a few differences,” he acknowledged. “But cooperation is the only way to do this work. It is a matter of science and physics.”

“We have a long way to go, but every step counts”warned Kerry, who compared the principle of agreement between the two countries with the agreements for the reduction of nuclear weapons during the cold war: “Sometimes you have to put aside the differences and find a way forward.

The “new understanding” on climate change between Washington and Beijing comes just two days after the former US president Barack Obama accuse China and Russia of not responding to “the urgency of the problem.”

The joint appearance of Kerry and Zhenzhua gave wings to the ‘premier’ Boris Johnson upon his return to Washington for the final stretch of the negotiations. Johnson gave new signs of cautious optimism but cautioned that “keeping alive” the goal of a maximum temperature increase of 1.5 degrees is not yet a “done deal.”

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