“Compensate for lost time”: USA and China cooperate on climate protection

“Make up for lost time”
USA and China are cooperating on climate protection

The US climate commissioner Kerry is visiting China – as the first high-ranking representative of the Biden government. He apologizes for the climate policy under ex-President Trump and promises: “Now we’re back.”

China and the USA want to work more closely together on climate protection. After talks between the American climate commissioner John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua, both sides issued a joint statement on the cooperation between the two largest carbon dioxide producers. The fight against global warming must be approached with the required seriousness and urgency, it says. More must be done nationally and multilaterally.

“It’s extremely urgent,” Kerry told Sky News. Some countries are not doing enough. It is true that the global temperature will also rise significantly if the Paris climate protection agreement is implemented in full. In Paris, the states set themselves the goal of keeping global warming well below two – better 1.5 degrees. But the world is currently heading for a rise in global warming of “4 degrees or more,” said Kerry. “This is more than catastrophic for food production, water, habitability in different parts of the planet, ice melting, sea level rise, warming.”

The US climate commissioner urged China to take on more responsibility. The country with nearly 30 percent of the world’s emissions is of crucial importance. US President Joe Biden has called a climate summit on April 22nd and 23rd, to which China’s head of state Xi Jinping has also been invited. The 26th UN Climate Change Conference is scheduled to take place in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.

Kerry: Going back to climate change was a must

Kerry apologized for US climate policy under then-President Donald Trump. “The US has become a renegade in the past four years under the non-leadership of President Trump,” said the ex-foreign secretary. “But now we’re back, presenting a very aggressive set of initiatives to try to make up for lost time.” It was the duty of the USA to return to the Paris climate protection agreement. The USA would do its part to achieve the goal of global warming of 1.5 degrees as possible.

The USA and China wanted to continue discussing “concrete measures” to achieve the goals of the Paris climate protection agreement. In it, the almost 200 signatory states agreed to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees, if possible even to 1.5 degrees. However, the earth has already warmed up by a good degree compared to the pre-industrial period (1850-1900).

Kerry arrived in China on Wednesday under strict security precautions. It was the first visit by a senior US government official since President Joe Biden took office. The climate dialogue between the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, which was broken off after the Trump administration withdrew from the Paris climate agreement, was thus resumed.

Kerry traveled on from Shanghai to the South Korean capital Seoul. Climate protection is one of the few areas in which cooperation between the two strategic rivals currently appears possible. The ratio has fallen to its lowest level since diplomatic relations began in 1979.