China and U.S. resolve to tackle climate issues

2024-05-31 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Officials from the United States and China gathered on Wednesday in Berkeley, California, putting aside national tensions to focus on a shared challenge: climate change.

California Governor Gavin Newsom emphasized the importance of open communication and trust-building in tackling the climate crisis at the event co-hosted by the California-China Climate Institute.

"It's about sharing, it's about openness, and it's about building a framework of trust," Newsom said, noting his October visit to China where he met Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"You find those areas of cooperation and agreement and you rush to develop that framework of understanding, that capacity to partner and achieve together," Newsom told the audience, including a Chinese delegation of more than 100 provincial- and city-level officials.

"I'm committed in this relationship, particularly between China and the United States," he said. "No more important bilateral relationship in the world as it relates to the issue of climate change."

Jerry Brown, former governor of California and chair of the California-China Climate Institute, said competition will not solve the climate crisis.

"The problems we face are bigger than one country ... the most important possible partnership in the world today is China and the U.S.," Brown said. "Pure competition without cooperation will lead to disaster."

Aside from national interest, there is also common interest, which is based on the common threat of climate disruption that is "getting worse unless China and the U.S. work together", Brown said.

The gathering serves as a concrete step toward fulfilling the Sunnylands Statement on Enhancing Cooperation to Address the Climate Crisis, a joint commitment made by both countries during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in San Francisco in November.

President Xi and U.S. President Joe Biden held a summit and laid out the San Francisco vision, a road map for a sound, stable and sustainable development of China-U.S. relations. While speaking on the phone last month, the two presidents reaffirmed the importance of turning the vision into reality.

Since November's summit, a working group has been established between the two countries. Earlier this month, China's Special Envoy for Climate Change Liu Zhenmin visited the U.S. and held climate talks with John Podesta, senior advisor to Biden on international climate policy.

The talks were "in-depth and productive" and focused on the priorities identified in the Sunnylands statement, ranging from energy transition and methane reduction to deforestation and subnational action, Podesta said in a video message.

"The U.S. and China have to lead the way even as the overall relationship between our two countries has increasingly been characterized by competition," he said.

"We have an obligation to our citizens and the people of the world to communicate, cooperate and collaborate where we can to tackle the climate crisis."

He stressed the importance of subnational exchanges and collaboration, because local governments are the ones implementing national policies.

"For instance, with some localities in China having already peaked their emissions nearly a decade ago, we look forward to hearing more about how China's provinces and cities are accelerating progress toward their national climate targets," he said.

He specifically commended the cooperation between U.S. and Chinese local leaders in recent years, such as the green shipping corridor between Los Angeles and Shanghai, and local and regional solutions to accelerate the deployment of clean energy in communities.

Rick Duke, deputy special envoy for climate at the U.S. Department of State, applauded Chinese local governments' "strong targets", citing Shenzhen's achievement of converting entire fleet of buses and taxis to electric vehicles and 27 Chinese provinces and cities signing the U.S.-China Climate Leaders' Declaration that pledged early carbon peaking before 2030.

He mentioned promising areas for joint technological development, such as carbon capture, utilization and storage, as well as pilot projects for full-scale commercial application.

Additionally, tackling potent non-CO2 greenhouse gases and promoting circular economy practices were identified as potential areas of engagement.

Zhao Chenxin, a member of the visiting delegation and vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, emphasized the vast business opportunities arising from China's green transformation.

"China's carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals would require investments of 80 trillion yuan ($11 trillion) and 20 trillion yuan ($2.8 trillion) respectively," he said.

"China is undergoing a large-scale equipment upgrade, which would require $700 billion in investment. This will create vast business opportunities and bring new prospects for green and low-carbon development."

Related news


Most popular in 24h

MoreTop news


Back to top About Us | Jobs | Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©1999-2024 All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
[网上传播视听节目许可证(0106168)] [京ICP证040655号]
[京公网安备 11010202009201号] [京ICP备05004340号-1]