China's President Xi Jinping will attend a virtual climate summit this week hosted by US President Joe Biden, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Wednesday, as political tensions between the two countries remain high.
The Biden administration's pledge would require by far the most ambitious USA climate effort ever undertaken, almost doubling the reductions that the Obama administration had committed to in the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord.
It's hoped that other countries will follow the US' lead with additional announcements of new goals to tackle the crisis, the administration official said.
More on the USA announcement: At the White House summit, which will take place virtually on Thursday and Friday, Biden will commit the United States to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50%-52% below its 2005 emissions levels by 2030.
Over the two-day period multiple USA officials will speak including Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and special envoy for climate Kerry and national climate adviser Gina McCarthy. "Every ton of reductions achieved in the United States has multiplier effect in inspiring climate action overseas".
"This ambitious goal is one that we must reach".
"We need to work on the basis of global law, follow the principle of equity and justice, and focus on effective actions", Xi said, calling on countries to uphold the UN-centered worldwide system.
World leaders including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appear on screen during a virtual climate summit
The Biden administration has reiterated it wants the USA electricity grid to run 100% on clean sources such as solar and wind by 2035 in order to meet its goals and has framed an explosion in renewable energy and electric vehicle production as a boon to American jobs.
Biden's action raises the pressure on China - by far the world's largest carbon emitter.
He said that their cooperation is very important. "Is this new pledge enough?"
"China has committed to move from carbon peak to carbon neutrality in a much shorter time span than what might take many developed countries, and that requires extraordinarily hard efforts from China", he said. Bapna added: "This target will serve as the north star for President Biden's domestic agenda". "Together, we can seize the opportunity to drive prosperity, create jobs, and build the clean energy economy of tomorrow". Pope Francis was also due to take part. A constellation of other names surround the event, with Greta Thunberg, the Swedish climate activist, addressing a U.S. congressional committee on Thursday morning while the Dalai Lama, along with 100 other Nobel prize winners, is calling for a phase out of fossil fuels.
"When I talk about climate, I think jobs".
The new urgency comes as scientists say that climate change caused by coal plants, auto engines and other fossil fuel use is already worsening droughts, floods, hurricanes, wildfires and other disasters and that humans are running out of time to stave off most catastrophic extremes of global warming. "We need to seize it".
Biden announced in opening remarks for the two-day summit that the USA will reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions 50%-52% from 2005 levels by the end of the decade - significantly boosting a commitment made under former President Barack Obama that was scrapped by former President Donald Trump.
"The science is clear - if the United States does not achieve much, much more by the end of this decade, it will be a death sentence for our generation and the billions of people at the frontlines of the climate crisis in the U.S. and overseas".
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