Tuesday, 21 September, 2021


Xi to join European climate summit, as Kerry in China for talks

CHINA-POLITICS-CONGRESS Xi Jinping blasted EU plans to develop a so-called Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism | Nicolas Asfouri AFP via Getty Images
Conrad Doyle | 16 April, 2021, 22:56

A leading Chinese diplomat said Friday that his country, the world's largest carbon emitter, plans to send a "positive message" at a climate change meeting called by U.S. President Joe Biden for next week.

"Responding to climate change is a common cause for all mankind and must not become a geopolitical bargaining chip, a target of attacks from other countries or an excuse for trade barriers", Xi said, according to the report. state agency Xinhua.

Kerry, President Joe Biden's climate tsar, is in China for meetings with his counterparts until Saturday - the first visit by an official from the new USA administration.

Chinese President Xi Jinping attended a video summit with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Beijing on Friday.

"Of course, it's not going to be easy", said Jane Nakano, a senior fellow in the Energy Security and Climate Change Program at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

The U.S. State Department, then under the Trump administration, said in September that China had showed "wilful disregard" for air, land and water quality, and was putting global health at risk with its greenhouse gases, drawing a sharp rebuke from Beijing.

The European Union past year agreed to cut its emissions of carbon dioxide and other planet-warming gases by at least 55% by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.

The summits' effort is to catalyze the joint work of countries to curb global warming to a limit of 1.5 ° C. Biden wants to mobilize public and private funding to drive the worldwide energy transition and help vulnerable countries cope climate impacts. The United States returned to the Paris Agreement in January this year, on the first day of the Joe Biden government, which has made tackling climate change one of its priorities.

"Both countries have a long way to go to firm up their targets and commitments for this decade", said Myllyvirta.

New Zealand is set to consider legislation that would require banks, insurers and asset managers to disclose the impacts of climate change on their businesses as the country tries to slash its carbon emissions.

Li Shuo from Greenpeace China said he hoped the talks might yield agreements on China's huge use of coal.

"There needs to be a reverse on that".

A report from analysis company TransitionZero on Thursday said China needed to "cancel all new coal immediately and indefinitely" and convert nearly all of its coal fleet by 2040 in order to meet the zero-emissions target.

While Beijing and Washington have clashed over Hong Kong and Xinjiang, the climate issue is seen as a shared interest which cuts through the rancour.

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