China's Xi ready to step up climate change cooperation with France, Germany

Daniel Fowler
April 16, 2021

The video summit came as USA special climate envoy John Kerry was in Shanghai for talks with his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua.

The US consulate said Kerry arrived in China and will meet with his Chinese counterparts at a Shanghai hotel in a day of closed-door talks.

Kerry is in China for meetings with his counterparts until Saturday - the first visit by an official from the new U.S. administration.

Chinese President Xi Jinping slammed the European Union's plan for a carbon tax system Friday in a call with the leaders of France and Germany, state media reported. They were meeting ahead of an upcoming virtual climate summit on April 22-23.

An official German account of the conversation said Macron and Merkel "welcomed" Xi's announcement a year ago that China would reach climate neutrality by 2060.

A group of 10 US Senators have introduced a comprehensive global climate change legislation that among other things seeks to reinvigorate bilateral cooperation with India in this sector, ahead of next week's Leaders' Summit on Climate being convened by the White House.

The CLIMATE Act says that the USA should support efforts to strengthen India's resilience capacities that ensure people, households, communities, institutions, and systems can assess, anticipate, prevent, adapt to, cope with, and recover from shocks and stresses as associated with the effects of climate change.

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China "now shouldered the responsibility of global climate governance" and will not be part of a US-centred climate campaign, the nationalistic Global Times cited experts saying Thursday.

Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 UN Paris climate accords as one of his first actions.

Both Washington and Brussels are aiming to go "carbon neutral" by mid-century, a goal scientists say needs to be achieved to keep average global temperatures from rising above 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) by the year 2100.

Nakano said Thursday that many countries, not just the USA, "are hoping to see much more clear articulation [on] how China plans on reducing its emissions level".

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

"Requiring the financial sector to disclose the impacts of climate change will help businesses identify the high-emitting activities that pose a risk to their future prosperity", Shaw said, "as well as the opportunities presented by action on climate change and new low carbon technologies".

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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