The U.S. and China have said they have agreed to urgently tackle the climate crisis together, as the world’s two-largest single polluters sign a joint agreement ahead of a World Summit.
News that the U.S. and China had agreed to tackle the climate crisis together came after the U.S. special envoy for climate, John Kerry met his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua in Shanghai last week.
After their meeting, the two signed a co-agreement stating that the two countries “are committed to cooperating with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the seriousness and urgency that it demands.”
Considering that the combined carbon emissions output of the U.S. and China combined is nearly half of the globe’s total emissions, cooperations between the two superpowers is essential in order to tackle the climate crisis.
The countries will take “appropriate actions to maximize international investment and finance in support of” renewable technology investments, as well as supporting developing countries with their energy transitions.
President Biden has extended an invitation to 40 world leaders, including China’s President Xi Jinping for a White House summit this week. Among the top priorities for the summit are tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as setting more ambitious goals in respect to climate change.
Biden is expected to ask world leaders to make a new series of environmental targets, cut their carbon emissions and further invest in renewable technologies to buoy their economies and reduce carbon and methane emissions.
The statement issued by the U.S. and China says that the two countries “look forward to” the upcoming summit, with John Kerry adding that “we very much hope that [President] Xi will take part.”
Since coming to the office of President of the United States, Joe Biden has re-signed America’s commitment to the Paris Climate Accord, reversing a Trump-era policy that saw the U.S. make an exit from the climate agreement.
The recently signed agreement states that both the U.S. and China will optimise “their respective actions and cooperating with multilateral processes, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.”
U.S. Envoy for Climate, John Kerry said that the two parties involved have agreed on the “critical elements on where we have to go,” but he added that “I learned in diplomacy that you don’t put your back on the words, you put on actions. We all need to see what happens,” he said.
U.S. and China Agree to Urgently Tackle Climate Crisis
He continued to explain that “the word ‘urgent’ is totally applicable to the current criss that we’re in because countries are simply not getting the job done… even if we did everything that we set out to do in the Paris Agreement, the Earth’s temperature is going to increase a very significant amount, perhaps as much as 3.7 degrees of more.
“The reason for the real urgency now is that because we’re not getting done what we said we’d do in Paris, it’s actually headed towards 4 degrees or more… that’s beyond catastrophic in the consequences to food production, water, habitability in various parts of the planet, the melting of ice, the sea level rise, the warming.”
Kerry added that “I have never shied away from expressing our views shared by many, many people that it is imperative to reduce coal, everywhere.”
Earlier this week, John Kerry issued an apology directed at the international community for the previous administration’s policy on climate change. “We are very sorry for the last four years with a president who didn’t care about science and who didn’t have a real rationale for pulling out, but he was the only president in the world, the only leader in the world, who pulled out of this Paris agreement.”
As we reported last year, China’s President Xi Jinping made a pledge that China would become net carbon neutral by 2060, with peak emissions expected by 2030. That announcement was consolidated by a pledge from the Chinese Communist Party that would see carbon emissions reduced by 18% per economic unit over the next five-years.