Why China is stepping up against climate change

China's home-grown C919 passenger jet takes off on its first flight at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai
China calls climate change 'global consensus', will uphold even if the US pulls out of Paris accord
Author

04 June, 2017

The European Commission president and former Luxembourg prime minister was referring to the testy relations between EU leaders and Donald Trump, the USA president, particularly during last week's G7 and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summits, and to Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate change accord.

One of the recurring arguments for the U.S.to stay in the Paris Climate Agreement was that if we left, we'd be giving up leadership on the global fight against climate change.

"Our joint leadership provides business, investors and researchers both in Europe and China and throughout the world the certainty they need to build a global low carbon economy", Juncker said as he opened trade and climate talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Brussels.

Nevertheless, Juncker stated: "We must try to keep the transatlantic relationship in a good condition".

Christiana Figueres, who served as the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change during the Paris process, said she was "quite happy" about the global reaction to the U.S. move.

"There is no reverse gear to the energy transition". "So I think China is looking for new partnerships".

Mr Trump's announcment on Thursday that he would take the United States out of the Paris deal, saying it would undermine the U.S. economy and cost jobs, drew anger and condemnation from world leaders and heads of industry.

"In sum, China will honor its commitments in the framework of the Paris climate protection agreement", he said.

"That is a competitive distortion against which we can only protect ourselves by saying: Whoever wants to have access to our market - and the European market is the biggest market in the world - needs to respect the European standards", he added, as cited by Politico.

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In a jibe at the USA administration, Juncker told the audience at an event of the Confederation of German Employers in Berlin that "not everything that is written in global agreements is fake news".

"They were doing this before Trump was elected", said Carolyn Bartholomew, the U.S.

"The increasing impacts of climate change require a decisive response".

"In the future, China will continue to tackle climate change in all ways", Chunying said. Renegotiating a non-binding agreement that had voluntary pledges doesn't even make sense, and the rest of the world is ready to move forward on climate, as the EU-China announcement Friday made clear.

A Major Chinese delegation are due to arrive in Brussels late on Thursday following the talks in Berlin.

A day after Trump rejected the Paris agreement, the European Union and Chinese leaders repeated their support for the deal. The other two are Syria and Nicaragua.

On Friday, less than a day after President Donald Trump announced the United States would leave the Paris climate agreement, China and the European Union reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the agreement's goals.

Calculations suggest withdrawal could release up to three billion additional tonnes of carbon dioxide a year - enough to melt ice sheets faster, raise sea levels and trigger more extreme weather.


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