China vows to stick to Paris pact

China vows to stick to Paris pact

Chinese and European Union leaders pledged Thursday to remain committed to the Paris Agreement on climate change, amid recent reports that President Trump will pull the USA out of the deal, CNN reported.

Yet while China has presented itself as a leader on climate change, some note the country isn't always squeaky clean.

But if there was regret in Beijing, it was mixed with not a little gloating.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel called the decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement "a brutal act" and "an irresponsible decision that detracts from the promises made".

And Silicon Valley tech leaders released a swift series of Twitter posts saying they opposed President Trump's action.

But Koichi Yamamoto, the environment minister, didn't mince his words.

After Trump was elected president, he appointed an Environmental Protection Agency secretary who saw that agency as an enemy and is now working to dismantle its regulations. "I'm not just disappointed, I'm angry", he told reporters.

The EU's moves come amid a global steel glut.

Russian Federation joined the chorus speaking out for the climate accord.

A bilateral climate agreement in 2014 between the world's two biggest emitters, China and the USA, helped pave the road to Paris by building political will for the hard-fought climate pact. Both men's predecessors for about 20 years have had an ongoing discussion in which the United States has been trying to bring China into the discussion to emit fewer greenhouse gases.

ALVIN LIN: Thank you very much for having me.

He also failed to mention that China's emissions have been stable or falling since 2013, and are forecast to fall by around 1 percent this year. It's by far the largest consumer of coal worldwide, producing 3.41 billion tons of the fuel past year - more than four times the volume in the US, the second largest coal consumer.

The 2015 agreement, signed by 195 countries, calls for reducing the impact of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Friday's bilateral announcement signals that China might have found its new partner in the European Union.

In Europe this week, Premier Li Keqiang appears to be grasping that challenge - or exploiting that vacuum.

Following Chinese president Xi Jinping's speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year, where he defended globalisation, China is looking for a partner to fill the gap the United States withdrawal has created on global issues, such as climate and trade.

But Beijing is not likely to take the lead on its own. "We encourage all actors in the United States working to tackle climate change to stand their ground, share the benefits of their work and to keep making their voices heard", she said.

As Greenpeace clean air campaigner Lauri Myllyvirta pointed out in a series of tweets on Thursday, leadership can involve taking action at home, symbolic or rhetorical steps, provision of finance to drive carbon cuts or diplomatic efforts.

Under the Paris deal, the country committed to halting growth in its greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030, and Premier Li Keqiang publicly reaffirmed China's commitment to the Paris deal just ahead of the United States decision during his visit to Germany.

Simply, Trump may have expected the climate deal to collapse in America's absence, but the quick action taken by China and Germany in particular shows that the world stage is more than willing to continue it's show despite our absence. And, you know, Friday, for example, the European Union and China, they just concluded a bilateral, the leaders of their countries, in Brussels. He said he was convinced the US will eventually rejoin.

Earlier today the leaders of France, Germany and Italy issued a joint statement rejecting Mr Trump's plea to renegotiate the Paris Agreement, whilst Theresa May expressed her disappointment in the USA withdrawal. These pledges would be nationally determined, not imposed from outside. Peskov said Russian Federation has yet to see what announcement Trump makes. "Trump is talking about renegotiating, but the agreement is already established policy".

He's said California's economy is proof that combating climate change isn't the economic deadweight Trump suggests. And now they're the largest in the world.

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