The unexpected revelation lacked specifics, but it boosted the United Nations climate meeting in Scotland.
In a rare and unanticipated joint statement, the United States and China pledged Wednesday to work closely together on climate change this decade, bringing new energy to the final days of the United Nations climate summit in Scotland.
The world’s two largest economies pledged to “work individually, jointly, and with other countries during this decisive decade, in accordance with different national circumstances, to strengthen and accelerate climate action and cooperation,” according to the statement.
The agreement was arranged by US climate envoy John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, and was announced in separate news conferences. On Twitter, Kerry said the agreement is “a step in the right direction, a sign of progress, and a solid foundation for continued climate cooperation between our two countries.”
The countries agreed to collaborate on deforestation and hold a bilateral meeting next year to discuss methane. This potent greenhouse gas traps far more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
The joint statement, which was otherwise light on details, mostly reaffirmed previous goals.
Such as ending overseas coal financing and sticking to the 2015 Paris agreement’s target of limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius. The pledge, however, presented a boost to the summit by demonstrating that the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, China, was still connected. It is China’s most significant step at the meeting, where Beijing officials have been conspicuously lacking, and President Xi Jinping has not attended.
China was facing significant political results after mainly ignoring the COP26 summit in Scotland, which scientists have described as the last, best chance to avoid the worst impacts of global warming.
The summit in Glasgow was overshadowed by the absence of numerous top-level officials from the world’s leading polluters.
The pledge with the United States, the world’s second-largest polluter, looked to influence other participants that the two countries whose actions will decide whether climate initiatives succeed or fail were more aligned than not.
Source: NBC News
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