China and the US announce plan to work together on cutting emissions

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    China and the US announce plan to work together on cutting emissions

    Cop26

    China and the US announce plan to work together on cutting emissions

    In a surprise press conference, the two superpowers promised to cooperate more and hoped for the success of Cop

    China's special envoy for climate change, Xie Zhenhua, speaks at the opP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow.

    The announcement followed a call by developing countries for rich nations to come forward with more financial help for vulnerable countries, saying a new draft outcome for the talks was too weak in this regard.

    The draft text, published early on Wednesday morning by the UK as president of the talks, set out the probable outcome of the Cop26 talks, including a potential requirement for countries to return to the negotiating table next year to beef up their national plans on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

    The text also set out the scientific case for limiting global temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, and expressed “alarm” that emissions were far higher than the levels needed to stay within safe temperature thresholds.

    But poor countries said the text needed more emphasis on climate finance, to help them cut carbon and cope with the impacts of climate breakdown.

    Aubrey Webson, chair of the Alliance of Small Islands States, which represents 37 of the most at-risk countries, said: “The text provides a basis for moving forward but it needs to be strengthened in key areas in order to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable, particularly on finance. We won’t get the ambition on emissions we need for 1.5C if we don’t scale up the provision of finance, and this includes the long overdue recognition of a separate and additional component for loss and damage.”

    He added that the language was too weak: “‘Urging’, ‘calling’, ‘encouraging’ and ‘inviting’ is not the decisive language that this moment calls for. We have limited time left in the Cop to get this right and send a clear message to our children, and the most vulnerable communities, that we hear you and we are taking this crisis seriously.”

    Bruce Bilimon, minister of health for the Marshall Islands, part of the High Ambition Coalition made up of developed and developing countries, added: “We need a comprehensive Glasgow package to build and reinforce trust between developed and developing states.”

    Other developing countries told the Guardian that clearer commitments were needed to force countries to ratchet up their emissions cuts.

    The UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, made a flying visit to Glasgow on Wednesday, where he warned delegates that failure to reach an effective agreement would bring an “immense” and well-deserved backlash from around the globe.

    Johnson called for “a determined push to get us over the line” – and said some countries had not done enough to achieve this. Leaders not in Glasgow needed to “pick up the phone to their teams here and give them the negotiating margin, give them the space they need in which to manoeuvre and get this done”, he said.

    Johnson criticised – but did not name – some countries for “conspicuously patting themselves on the back” for signing up to the Paris climate accord but doing too little at Cop.

    “The world will find it absolutely incomprehensible if we fail to deliver [a good outcome]. And the backlash from people will be immense and it will be long-lasting, and frankly we will deserve their criticism and their opprobrium.”

    Topics

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    Published at Wed, 10 Nov 2021 19:06:45 +0000

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/10/china-and-the-us-announce-plan-to-work-together-on-cutting-emissions

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