Why China is stepping up against climate change

Li Keqiang. File
Li Keqiang. File
Author

04 June, 2017

President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the United States is withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, prompting a furious global backlash and throwing efforts to slow global warming into doubt.

The EU official involved in organizing the EU-China meeting said it would will "send important signals for the multinational system", as Trump moves to unpick some of the worldwide trade agreements the USA has signed up to.

China and the European Union released a joint statement at the meeting, saying the two parties "consider climate action and the clean energy transition an imperative more important than ever".

"There is no reverse gear to the energy transition".

Juncker said: "If the US president pulls out of the Paris agreement, and he will in the next days or hours, then it is Europe's duty to say that that is not how it works".

And China, eager to be seen as the new global leader on climate change, will push hard for related business opportunities, including making things like solar panels and wind turbines. He said, "I do respect this decision but I do think it is an actual mistake both for the US and for our planet".

Miguel Arias Canete, the EU's energy commissioner, told Reuters the bloc could depend on China despite concerns among environmental groups that monitoring and verification measures in the Paris accord would be weaker without the United States.

"Wherever we live, whoever we are, we all share the same responsibility: make our planet great again", Macron added.

This is particularly troubling news for the US manufacturing sector.

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will discuss the Paris agreement in talks with European Union leaders in Brussels on Friday.

The Trump administration argued that the deal was unfair to the United States economy.

Bainimarama said the decision is a grave disappointment for places like his Pacific island nation and US coastal cities like NY and Miami that are vulnerable to climate change.

"In the future, China will continue to tackle climate change in all ways", Chunying said.

They will "significantly intensify" their political, technical, economic and scientific cooperation on climate change and clean energy to help the world shift to an economy based on low greenhouse gas emissions.

But European officials insisted that the deal would remain on track.

The official told reporters that the European Union and China will also "spell out" how they plan to meet their commitments to the landmark worldwide accord to fight global warming at talks in Brussels on Friday. By withdrawing, Trump puts the US with Nicaragua and Syria as the only nations outside the accord.

The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of the Paris deal in a joint statement and committed to cutting fossil fuels, developing green technology, and to helping cut the emissions in poorer countries with a fund of $100 billion a year by 2020. Calculations suggest withdrawal could release up to 3 billion additional tons of carbon dioxide a year - enough to melt ice sheets faster, raise seas higher and trigger more extreme weather.


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