© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Chinese and American flags fluttering outside a building of an American company in Beijing
SHANGHAI / WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China and the United States agree that stronger commitments to combat climate change should be made ahead of a new round of international negotiations at the end of the year, the two countries said in a a joint statement on Sunday.
The statement came after a meeting between Chinese climate envoy Xie Zhenhua and his US counterpart, John Kerry, in Shanghai on Thursday and Friday, China’s Ministry of Environment said.
“The United States and China are committed to working together and with other countries to resolve the climate crisis,” their joint statement said. The two countries will continue to discuss “concrete actions in the 2020s to reduce emissions to keep temperature limits under the Paris Agreement within reach.”
Kerry arrived in Shanghai on Wednesday night following the strict COVID-19 protocol and was transferred to a remote hotel not open to the public. Then he went to Seoul.
His stop in Shanghai was the first high-level visit to China by a Biden administration official since the new president took office, and after a controversial exchange between officials of the two countries in December. 3 in Alaska.
The talks also mark the resumption of climate dialogue between the world’s two biggest greenhouse gas emitters. Bilateral discussions stalled under the administration of the Donald Trump administration, who pulled out of the 2015 Paris deal after declaring it unfairly punishing American businesses.
The United States is expected to soon make a new commitment to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions in order to regain confidence from foreign allies. Biden brought the United States back to the Paris climate accord.
Li Shuo, senior climate advisor at environmental organization Greenpeace, said China may soon respond to a new US commitment to one of its own, based on the “dynamics” of the talks. said Shanghai.
“The statement in my view is as positive as politics allows: It sends a very clear message that on this particular issue (China and the United States) will cooperate. Before the Shanghai meetings. “This is not a message we can assume,” Li said.
Biden will host virtual summits for dozens of world leaders this week to discuss climate change, streamed live to the public. Global climate negotiations are scheduled for November 1-12 in Glasgow.
The two countries also agreed to discuss specific emissions reduction actions including energy storage, carbon and hydrogen capture, the statement said. They said they will take action to maximize financing for developing countries to switch to low-carbon sources.
The Paris Agreement encourages countries to submit more ambitious climate commitments if they can. China has promised to take further action as it strives to achieve its goal of becoming “carbon neutral” by 2060.
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