by Seth Borenstein, Ellen Nikkmeier and Frank Jordan
GLASSGOW, Scotland (AP) — China and the United States, the world’s top carbon polluters, agreed on Wednesday to step up their cooperation and intensify action to rein in climate-damaging emissions, which are fueling global warming in a time of tension. But it is a sign of mutual effort. his other controversies.
In back-to-back news conferences at the United Nations climate talks in Glasgow, Chinese climate envoy Xie Zhenhua and US counterpart John Kerry said both countries are working to achieve the emissions reductions needed to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. will work together for ,
“It is beneficial not only for our two countries but for the whole world that the world’s two major powers, China and the United States, take on special international responsibilities and obligations,” Xi told reporters. “We need to think big and be responsible.”
“The steps we are taking … can answer people’s questions about China’s pace and help China and us accelerate our efforts,” Kerry said.
China also agreed for the first time to crack down on a methane leak, following the lead in efforts by the Biden administration to curb the potent greenhouse gas. Beijing and Washington agreed to share technology to reduce emissions.
Governments in Paris agreed to jointly cut greenhouse gas emissions to keep global temperature rise “well below” 2 °C (3.6 °F) from pre-industrial times, with more stringent Trying to keep the warming to 1.5 °C with the goal. 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) preferred.
Xi said both sides recognize that there is a gap between global efforts to reduce climate pollution and the goals of the Paris Agreement.
“Therefore we will jointly strengthen climate action and cooperation in relation to our respective national positions,” he said.
A US-China bilateral agreement in 2014 gave a major push to the creation of the historic Paris Agreement the following year, but that cooperation with the Trump administration eroded, which pulled the US out of the deal. The Biden administration brought the US back in that deal, but has clashed with China over other issues such as cyber security, human rights and Chinese territorial claims.
“While this is not a gamechanger in the 2014 US-China climate deal, in many ways it is a step forward given the geopolitical state of the relationship,” said US-China climate expert Thom Woodroof. Talks. “This means that the intensified level of US-China climate negotiations may now begin to translate into cooperation.”
The gesture of goodwill comes just days after President Joe Biden blamed Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s failure to attend the talks in person for the lack of more progress in climate talks.
The announcement said the US and China would also revive a working group that would “meet regularly to address the climate crisis and advance the multilateral process, focusing on increasing concrete action over this decade.”
Washington and Beijing both intend to update the world in 2025 on their new national goals for 2035 – a move that is particularly important for China. The manifesto also said China would make “best efforts to accelerate” its plans to reduce coal consumption in the latter part of this decade.
The announcement came as governments around the world were negotiating in Glasgow how to build on the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect vulnerable countries from the effects of global warming.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the move “an important step in the right direction”.
Some experts noted that the deal was short on commitments that would significantly reduce heat-trapping gases.
Byford Tsang, China’s policy analyst for European think tank E3G, said: “It’s a good sign that the world’s two biggest emitters may indeed work together to address humanity’s biggest crisis, but not just because of the methane content.” There isn’t much meat after that.”
Earlier on Wednesday, a draft of a major deal being signed by nearly 200 countries in Glasgow called for an accelerated phase-out of coal – the biggest source of man-made emissions – though no timeline was set. was done.
Setting a deadline for phasing out fossil fuels is highly sensitive for countries that still depend on them for economic growth, including China and India, and for major coal exporters such as Australia. The future of coal is also a hot-button issue in America, where a dispute between Democrats has stalled one of President Joe Biden’s signature climate bills.
Greenpeace International director Jennifer Morgan, a longtime climate negotiation observer, said the call in a draft to phase out coal would be a first in a UN climate accord, but that the lack of a timeline would limit the effectiveness of the pledge.
“This is not a plan to solve the climate emergency. It will not give the kids on the streets the confidence they will need,” Morgan said.
The draft also expresses “alarm and concern” about how much the Earth has already warmed and urges countries to cut carbon dioxide emissions by nearly half by 2030. The pledges so far from governments do not add up to that often stated goal.
The draft is likely to change, but does not yet include full agreements on three key goals that the United Nations has set to go into negotiations: giving poor people $100 billion a year in climate aid for rich countries, To be sure, half that money goes to a pledge to adapt to worsening global warming and reduce global carbon emissions by 2030.
It acknowledges “regrettably” that prosperous nations have failed to meet climate finance pledges. They are currently providing about $80 billion a year, which poor countries need in financial help to develop green energy systems and adapt to the worst of climate change, say it is not enough.
Papua New Guinea’s Environment Minister Vera Mori said her country could “reconsider” efforts on logging, coal mining and even coming to UN talks given the lack of financial support.
The draft said the world should strive to achieve “net-zero (emissions) around mid-century”, a goal endorsed by the leaders of the Group of 20 largest economies at a summit just before the Glasgow talks. Was. This means countries need to pump only as much greenhouse gas into the atmosphere as can be re-absorbed through natural or artificial means.
For one of the bigger issues for poor countries, the draft vaguely “urges” developed countries to compensate developing countries for “loss and damage”, a phrase that some rich countries do not like. But there is no concrete financial commitment.
Britain’s Alok Sharma, who is chairing the talks, acknowledged that “important issues remain unresolved”.
He told the interlocutors, “I have a big, big request to all of you, please come armed with the posture of compromise.” “What we agree in Glasgow will determine the future for our children and grandchildren, and I know we would not want them to fail.”
Associated Press journalist Helena Alves contributed to this report.
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