The United States and China agreed in Shanghai to cooperate in addressing the climate crisis. The American climate envoy John Kerry held two days in Shanghai with his Chinese colleague Xie Zhenhua about the steps to be taken.
The joint deployment of these two superpowers, which together account for half of global greenhouse gas emissions, is seen as crucial to achieving the Paris climate targets.
Kerry is the first representative of the Biden government to visit China. The relationship between countries is tense, the American criticism of the oppression of the Uyghurs, the Chinese claims against Taiwan and the South China Sea and the interference with Hong Kong falls very badly in Beijing. But in Shanghai, the two negotiators gave the impression that the US and China can join forces in terms of climate.
Concrete agreements have not been made. The countries have committed themselves to working together to achieve international climate agreements and to further work on concrete agreements on reducing the use of fossil fuels. They will also invest extra on a fund for poorer countries to help them greening their economies.
“No accusing finger.”
A great deal of time has been spent in negotiations on the use of coal for energy generation and in industry in Shanghai. Nowhere is so much coal sprayed at the moment as it is in China.
“ I did not point the finger,” Kerry said at the end of the consultation. “We used to burn too much coal, other countries use too much coal, but in China the most, really most coal is fired. And that‘s why something has to change.”
A two-day online climate summit will start on Friday, at the initiative of President Biden. He has invited 40 world leaders to work together to agree on more ambitious climate targets and provide more assistance to the poorer part of the world. Biden has insisted on the participation of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the summit, but it is still unclear whether Xi is going to join us. Beijing has already announced that no new commitments can be expected. “For a large country with 1.4 billion people, climate targets are not easy to fulfill,” a Deputy Minister said last week.
Biden is very kefront of the success of the summit. One of his first acts as president was the signing of a decree that allowed the US to rejoin the 2015 Paris climate agreement, which Biden’s predecessor Trump had previously withdrawn from it. Biden has declared the fight against global warming one of the most important pillars of his presidency.