Sino-US talks renew climate hopes

Chinese and US flags wave outside a US company building in Beijing, January 21, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

Right after the meeting between the heads of state of China and the United States of America before the last G20 Summit, the representatives of the two countries held official consultations on climate change on the sidelines of the COP27 climate change conference of the United Nations.

The consultations, which came more than three months after China suspended climate talks with the US to protest US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August, were seen by experts as a boon to the global climate process. , as a window to prevent disaster damage. from global warming is rapidly closed.

Experts said that they expect to see significant progress in the upcoming consultations on both sides. These are expected to continue after the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP27, which ended on November 18, so that both countries can contribute to global efforts to tackle the climate crisis. , because it did years ago.

When he met with US President Joe Biden in Bali, Indonesia on November 14, President Xi Jinping said it was in the interest of both countries to promote global recovery from the pandemic, tackle climate change and solve global problems. resolve regional issues through China-US coordination and cooperation.

Biden said that the United States is committed to keeping the channels of communication open between the two leaders and at all levels of government, in order to strengthen the necessary cooperation and play a key role in solving climate change, food security and other important global challenges.

China’s special envoy for climate change, Xie Zhenhua, said that following the instructions of the heads of state, the special envoys of the two countries met in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, where COP27 is being held, to promote the success of the UN climate summit. Discuss United. , on Saturday.

The talks with the US were “very sincere, friendly, positive, active and very constructive”, he told reporters in Egypt. “Today we decided through discussions that after the UN conference is over, we will continue the formal consultations.”

As one of its eight measures in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan on August 2, China has decided to suspend climate negotiations with the US.

Under Barack Obama’s administration, China and the United States laid the foundations for international support for the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. As Obama’s vice president at the time, Biden witnessed the work done on the deal. Now, as president of the United States, he has made it clear that climate change will be an urgent priority for his administration.

Experts said that the meeting between Xi and Biden has opened the hope that China and the US will once again put a strong force into the global fight against climate change.

Manish Bapna, president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the Xi-Biden meeting sent a “reluctant” signal to the two largest economies to work together to solve the climate crisis.

Such a sign is “more than welcome,” he said, “it’s necessary.”

The world needs every country at the table to try to find solutions that reduce the use of fossil fuels and accelerate investment in clean energy, he said.

“The window to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees (Celsius) and avoid the worst effects of climate change is closing fast,” he said. “We urge the world’s two largest economies to act quickly to meet the challenge of this moment.”

Ani Dasgupta, president and CEO of the World Resources Institute, said the global community is “breathing a sigh of relief” that Biden and Xi are resuming joint efforts to address climate change.

Returning to the table is only the first step needed for leadership on climate change from these two super economies, he said in a statement.

Tang Xinhua, an expert at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said the resumption of Sino-US climate talks is good for Biden’s Democratic Party ahead of the 2024 US presidential election.

Tang said, “Biden has raised the flag of the fight against climate change. If China does not talk to the US on this issue, it is not good for the Democratic Party.”


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