COP26: China and United States commit to “strengthen climate action” in joint declaration

At the end of the tenth day of the discussions of the 26e United Nations Climate Conference of the Parties (COP), China and the United States have concluded a “Joint declaration on strengthening climate action”, Chinese climate envoy Xie Zhenhua announced on Wednesday (November 10th). “Both parties recognize the gap between current efforts and the goals of the Paris Agreement, so we will jointly strengthen climate action”, he told the press from Glasgow, Scotland.

This agreement “Shows that cooperation is the only way for China and the United States”, said Xie, as tensions between the two countries recently seemed to spill over into the climate diplomacy issue. On Twitter, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, welcomed this agreement in which he sees “An important step in the right direction”, China being the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases and the United States the second.

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US President Joe Biden, who came to Glasgow at the start of the conference, called “Big mistake” the absence at COP26 of his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, accusing him of having “Turned your back” to the climate crisis. “As two major world powers, China and the United States must take responsibility for working together and with other parties to combat climate change.”, said the Chinese envoy.

Willingness to reach an agreement, despite difficulties on other subjects

Glasgow climate conference seen as pivotal as the world finds itself on a trajectory, UN says “Catastrophic” a warming of temperatures of 2.7 ° C compared to the pre-industrial era, well above the objectives of the Paris Agreement which aims for a warming “Well below” 2 ° C, and if possible at 1.5 ° C.

Speaking shortly after his counterpart, the US climate envoy, John Kerry, welcomed this ” roadmap “ intended to define “The way in which we are going to limit global warming and work together to meet climate ambitions”. In the text posted online, the two countries pledge to work at COP26 to “An ambitious, balanced and inclusive outcome on mitigation [baisse des émissions], adaptation and support ” financial. They commit more generally to “Take reinforced measures to raise ambitions during the 2020s”, by reaffirming their attachment to the temperature objectives of the Paris Agreement.

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The Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, also welcomed the announcement. “Beyond the COP, it’s important for the world”, did he declare. “If the United States and China, with all the difficulties they have on other issues, send a message that this issue transcends others, that it is about the survival of mankind, it helps the world immensely. international community to accept the fact that we must act now ”, he added, noting however that there was “A lot of work to do” to reach an agreement at COP26.

The World with AFP

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COP26: China and United States commit to “strengthen climate action” in joint declaration