Sino-US talks renew climate hopes – World

Chinese and US flags fly outside the building of an American company in Beijing, January 21, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

Shortly after the meeting of the heads of state of China and the United States before the recent G20 Summit, the two countries’ special envoys on climate change held formal consultations on the sidelines of the United Nations COP27 climate change conference.

The consultations, which took place more than three months after China suspended climate talks with the United States to protest US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August, were seen by experts as a breakthrough in the global climate process. the, as the window to avoid catastrophic damage. from global warming is closing fast.

Experts said they expect to see exponential progress in the upcoming bilateral consultations. These are expected to continue after the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP27, which concluded on November 18, so that the two countries can help galvanize global efforts to deal with the climate crisis, as they are. made years ago.

During his meeting with US President Joe Biden on November 14 in Bali, Indonesia, President Xi Jinping said that it is in the interests of the two countries to promote global recovery after the pandemic, tackle climate change and solve regional problems through the coordination of China and the United States and cooperation.

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

According to the instructions of the heads of state, the special envoys of the two countries met in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, where COP27 was held, to discuss the promotion of the success of the UN climate summit, said Xie Zhenhua, China’s special envoy for climate change. . , on Saturday.

The conversations with the United States were “very frank, friendly, positive, active and very constructive”, he told reporters in Egypt. “Today, we decided through the discussions that we will continue formal consultations after the UN conference ends.”

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

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

The meeting between Xi and Biden lit a beacon of hope that China and the United States will once again inject great momentum into the global fight against climate change, experts said.

Manish Bapna, president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the meeting between Xi and Biden sent an “unequivocal” signal from the two largest economies to work together to address the climate crisis.

Such a signal is “more than welcome”, he said, “it is essential.”

The world needs every country at the table, striving to provide solutions that prevent the use of fossil fuels and sharply accelerate investments in clean energy, he said.

“The window to keep the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees (Celsius) and avoid the worst damage from climate change is closing fast,” he said. “We urge the world’s two largest economies to act with speed and conviction to meet the challenges of the 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 tackle climate change.

Returning to the table is just 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 that the resumption of Sino-US climate talks is favorable for Biden’s Democratic Party ahead of the 2024 US presidential election.

“Biden held up the banner of addressing climate change. If China doesn’t even talk to the United States on the issue, it’s not favorable for the Democratic Party,” Tang said.


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