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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - WASHINGTON — The Unites States and China have announced their commitment to cooperate together and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the "seriousness and urgency that it demands."
In a joint press statement released by US Department of State Saturday night, The US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua met in Shanghai on April 15 and 16 and agreed to tackle the climate crisis collectively.
They stressed that both countries will enhance their actions and cooperation in multilateral processes, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.
The United States and China will take other actions in the short term to further contribute to addressing the climate crisis, the statement added.
Both parties intend to take appropriate actions to maximize international investment and finance in support of the transition from carbon-intensive fossil fuel based energy to green, low-carbon and renewable energy in developing countries, the statement said.
The US and China, the world’s two biggest carbon polluters, agreed to cooperate to curb climate change with urgency, just days before President Joe Biden hosts a virtual summit of world leaders to discuss the issue.
The two countries “are committed to cooperating with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the seriousness and urgency that it demands,” the statement said.
China and the United States are the world’s top carbon polluters, pumping out nearly half of the fossil fuel fumes that are warming the planet’s atmosphere. Their cooperation is key to the success of global efforts to curb climate change.
Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, to the April 22-23 summit. The US and other countries are expected to announce more ambitious national targets for cutting carbon emissions ahead of or at the meeting, along with pledging financial help for climate efforts by less wealthy nations.
It’s unclear how much Kerry’s China visit would promote U.S.-China cooperation on climate issues.
When Kerry was still in Shanghai, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng signalled Friday that China is unlikely to make any new pledges at next week’s summit.
“For a big country with 1.4 billion people, these goals are not easily delivered,” Le said during an interview with The Associated Press in Beijing. “Some countries are asking China to achieve the goals earlier. I am afraid this is not very realistic.”
On whether Xi would join the summit, Le said “the Chinese side is actively studying the matter.” The joint statement said the two countries “look forward to” next week’s summit but didn’t say whether Xi would attend.
During a video meeting with German and French leaders Friday, Xi said that climate change “should not become a geopolitical chip, a target for attacking other countries or an excuse for trade barriers,” though he called for closer cooperation on the issue, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
Major emitters of greenhouse gases are preparing for the next U.N. climate summit taking place in Glasgow, UK, in November. The summit aims to relaunch global efforts to keep rising global temperatures to below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) as agreed in the Paris accord. — Agencies
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