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The unexpected agreement between the US and China at COP26

the unexpected joint announcement From the United States and China have spread Wednesday of the Glasgow Climate Conference (COP26) does not contain major new promises for initiatives against global warming. However, it was received very positively because it showed that China is still interested in cooperating with other countries in combating climate change and can facilitate an agreement among all countries at the end of the COP.

Indeed, since the beginning of the conference, China has not yet made new commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: it is not among the countries that have signed the agreement to gradually reduce greenhouse gas emissions.charcoal use Nor have they joined the United States and the European Union in promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions methane 30% by 2030Absence of President Xi Jinping In the early days of the COP, it was also considered a bad sign and was criticized by many, including US President Joe Biden who called it a “big mistake”.

The joint statement is quite lengthy, but mostly refers to goals already set in the past, such as halting funding for offshore coal mining and a commitment to keep global average temperatures high. less than 2°C, uses ambiguous combinations. He says that the two countries, which are the world’s two largest economies and also major producers of greenhouse gas emissions in absolute numbers, intend to “work individually, along with other countries in the next critical decade, according to different national conditions, to strengthen and accelerate climate action and cooperation” . The only novelty is China’s unlimited commitment to reduce methane emissions.

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However, the declaration is a good political signal, which reassured international delegations about the outcome of COP26. It was unexpected due to tensions in China-US relations in many other areas, from trade to respect for human rights, to The situation in Taiwan And the anti-China military agreement concluded by the United States With the UK and Australia. Some have called it a “climate truce.” news agency Reuters describe it As a “psychological boost”.

The fact that China and the United States display a range of intentions on climate indicates that they view climate change as a problem that transcends other diplomatic issues, which are of particular importance and must be discussed without being influenced by the competitive logics that characterize the relations. Between the two countries. “We both know that the challenge of climate change is a matter of survival,” Xie Jinhua, the main Chinese envoy to COP26, explained in his speech announcing the agreement with the United States.

Tuesday’s joint statement is far less significant than what Xie and John Kerry, the top US envoy to the COP, signed in 2014, when China first announced cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. This agreement was crucial to the Paris Agreement the following year. However, renewable climate alignment between the two countries should help increase pressure on some fossil fuel-producing countries, such as Australia and Saudi Arabia, which may oppose some steps in the draft global agreement prepared for the end of the COP.

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Harold Manning

"Infuriatingly humble social media ninja. Devoted travel junkie. Student. Avid internet lover."

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