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China-U.S Cooperation the Right Way to Address Climate Change

Source: Science and Technology Daily | 2023-11-16 17:00:20 | Author: TANG Zhexiao

A firefighter tackles a back fire as the wildfire burns in the Mojave National Preserve in California on July 30, 2023. (PHOTO: VCG)

By TANG Zhexiao

China-US climate talks have yielded positive results ahead of the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai.

During climate talks between Chinese and US officials in California earlier this month, the two sides “engaged in a comprehensive and in-depth exchange of views” and “achieved positive results on developing bilateral cooperation and operations on climate change,” according to China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs(MOFA)

MOFA added that they would jointly push for the success of COP28.

China-U.S. cooperation is a key to the world's ability to address climate change, and is considered a crucial part of any consensus at COP28, the BBC reported.

With extreme heat, floods, drought and sea-level rise becoming rife, both countries are concerned about the devastating effects of climate change.

In a three-day climate talk held this July, Beijing expressed its willingness to work with Washington on reducing global warming.

“This is not a one-off meeting,” Washington's climate envoy John Kerry said, remarking that reducing non-CO2 emissions like methane and moving away from coal dependence were crucial too.

Methane is a hydrocarbon that can affect the earth's temperature and climate system. It is the second most abundant anthropogenic greenhouse gas after CO2, accounting for about 16 percent of global emissions, according to the U.S. Environment Protection Agency.

During the talks this mounth, China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment published a long-awaited methane reduction plan, which vows to promote methane control in agriculture and strengthen it in industry, agriculture and city waste.

The UAE's special envoy for climate change and minister Sultan Al Jaber, who is also president-designate of this year's COP28 climate summit, has welcomed the plan as a critical step for global climate action,saying he was delighted to see China taking part in global efforts.

Following the California talks, the two countries advanced climate cooperation by releasing the Sunnylands Statement on Enhancing Cooperation to Address the Climate Crisis.

According to the statement, China and the U.S. have decided to operationalize the Working Group on Enhancing Climate Action and engage in dialogue and cooperation to accelerate concrete climate actions in the 2020s. The Working Group will focus on energy transition, methane, circular economy and resource efficiency, low carbon and sustainable provinces/states and cities, and deforestation, as well as other agreed-on topics. 

Both China and the U.S. are both increasingly investing in renewable technologies. Kerry said: "Like any other country in the world, [China] benefits from a new technology. We're trying to develop that... Every country I've heard from Germany and France, and other countries, do the same thing. We need to all move faster."

Climate change doesn't care about ideological divides, said Wu Changhua, a policy analyst specializing in China's environment. According to Wu, collaboration instead of competition is the key to avoid climate catastrophe.

No country can shield itself from the impacts of a global crisis such as climate change.The global community favors and hopes for cooperation between the two biggest economies in the world.

Editor: 汤哲枭

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