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The United States and China pledge to work together on climate

When it comes to climate change, there is more agreement than disagreement between China and the United States.

That’s what Chinese climate negotiator Xie Zhenhua said after he and his US counterpart John Kerry issued a joint declaration to ramp up measures to curb rising temperatures.

common result It was a surprise and may be a sign that the relationship between the United States and China, which has long been very frosty, is reaching its climax this time. Just before the statement came in, there is unconfirmed information that Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will meet digitally for the first time since Biden became president early next week.

According to the joint declaration, China and the United States will work together to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of a temperature increase of no more than 1.5 degrees.

There is no shortage of differences between the United States and China. But in terms of climate, cooperation is the only way to get the job done, John Kerry said.

It’s a change of scenery compared to the start of COP 26 in Glasgow when Joe Biden accused Chinese leader Xi Jinping of making a “big mistake” by not traveling to Glasgow. At the same time, Beijing complained that Xi Jinping was not allowed to deliver a speech via the video link.

US climate envoy John Kerry said China and the United States must work together to save the climate.

Photo: Jeff J Mitchell / AFP

Previously, China and the United States She had problems moving forward on the climate issue due to controversies over other issues. Among other things, the United States accuses China of violating human rights through its treatment of Uyghurs in the northwestern Xinjiang province. China’s actions in Hong Kong have also drawn harsh criticism from Washington. China, for its part, argued that it was a matter of “internal affairs”. Beijing has also questioned whether the United States can achieve its climate goals given how difficult Biden will be to get climate packages in Congress.

Now, at least for the time being, this kind of woodwork seems to have been set aside.

The joint statement is being received as a positive injection to the Glasgow climate negotiations, which are entering their final stages with the hope of presenting a common roadmap on Friday.

though The 14 points that make up the statement Well ventilated. Here are some of the details and tangible promises. No new commitments on emissions cuts, nothing about what many have called for, that China is setting at the level at which the country’s CO2 emissions should start, which the country has promised in 2030.

What is new in the statement is that China Promises to develop a plan to reduce methane emissions. China was not among the nearly 100 countries that signed one earlier this week Agreement to reduce methane emissions.

The United States and China also announced that they would form a working group that meets regularly and ramps up climate action.

So far, it’s just words. But at a press conference in Glasgow, John Kerry attached great importance to the statement. He compared climate cooperation to the Nuclear Disarmament Agreement reached by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986.

We cannot achieve our goals if we do not work together. We must increase our ambitions and we need to take action during this crucial decade, he said.

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