China took two steps this Friday (16) to mark its position in the fight against climate change. Chief Xi Jinping has met with leaders of France and Germany, and the Chinese foreign ministry has urged the United States to take broader measures to make up for the lack of action in recent years.
The movements take place a few days before the environmental summit called by US President Joe Biden, scheduled for April 22 and 23.
Xi spoke, via video, with French President Emmanuel Macron and as German Prime Minister Angela Merkel. The official said China was ready to expand cooperation with European countries on environmental issues and argued that the issue should not be politicized.
“Responding to climate change is a common cause for all mankind and must not become a geopolitical bargaining chip, a target of attacks from other countries or an excuse for trade barriers,” Xi said, according to the report. state agency Xinhua.
The leader also spoke of maintaining the commitment to South-South environmental cooperation, which aims to get closer to the countries of Africa and Latin America. And that his government is ready to help speed up vaccination against Covid-19 around the world.
In a note after the meeting, Macron and Merkel said they supported Beijing’s plans to reduce pollutant emissions.
Also on Friday, Lijian Zhao, spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, told reporters that the Americans were responsible for the delay in meeting the global environmental goals agreed to in the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015.
“The American authorities must not forget the departure of the Paris Agreement in 2017. Its return is by no means a glorious return, but rather the return of a student absent from class. He has yet to show how he will be. compensate for [o que não fez n]over the past four years, ”Lijian said.
“In global environmental governance there are those who contribute with concrete actions and those who seek selfish interests. The world has drawn its conclusions. We hope that the United States will find its place and come back to comply. to international law and multilateralism “. added the spokesperson’s voice.
Lijian made the remarks at a press conference after a reporter asked him to comment on a criticism, attributed to an unnamed U.S. official, that China was not doing enough to cut emissions.
The departure of the Paris Agreement was made by President Donald Trump. He argued that reducing emissions would hurt the US economy. The United States returned to the Paris Agreement in January this year, on the first day of the Joe Biden government, which has made tackling climate change one of its priorities.
Biden called a climate summit from April 22-23, with leaders from 40 countries. The virtual meeting invites participants to announce new, more ambitious environmental objectives.
The United States is expected to commit to a new carbon emissions reduction target for 2030, which could double the previous one. Brazil is expected to speak in the opening session, as well as China. Each representative will have three minutes to speak.
The US president sees the April meeting as a preparatory path for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, scheduled for November in Glasgow, Scotland.
The summits’ effort is to catalyze the joint work of countries to curb global warming to a limit of 1.5 ° C. Biden wants to mobilize public and private funding to drive the international energy transition and help vulnerable countries cope climate impacts.
China is currently the largest producer of greenhouse gases. In 2020, Xi announced that the country plans to cap its emissions before 2030 and then achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. The United States is the second most polluting country on the planet.
The conversation with EU leaders and the spokesman’s statements come as John Kerry, the US government’s special climate adviser, is in Shanghai for a meeting with Xie Zhenhua, who has a similar position.