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US and China announce cooperation on climate

The US and China made a surprise announcement yesterday to work together to slow global warming within the next decade. They announced a boost to green energy, combating deforestation and reducing methane emissions.

China has notably not committed to the Global Methane Pledge, which requires signatories to cut methane emissions by one third, but they have stated an intention to develop a national plan for methane. This is a major step forward, as methane has been absent from China's official domestic climate plan. China, the US and India are the world's largest consumers of coal, and all three did not sign a statement this week to phase out the use of coal. John Kerry did state separately to that statement that the US will phase out burning coal by 2030. 

The countries are the world's two biggest greenhouse gas emitters, accounting for around 40% of global emissions. The joint declaration is a result of dozens of meetings and negotiations over the course of the year. Significant domestic issues remain for both countries in implementing policies to cut emissions. It is hoped the commitment by the US and China will boost negotiations at COP26, as we enter the final days of the conference. 

The world’s two biggest greenhouse gas emitters said they would take “enhanced climate actions” to meet the central goals of the 2015 Paris climate accord — limiting warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) beyond preindustrial levels, and if possible, not to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius. Still, the declaration was short on firm deadlines or specific commitments, and parts of it restated policies both nations had outlined in a statement in April.

Tags

esg, cop26, climate change

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