China says it will work with US on climate

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China’s Xi Jinping hopes to become president for life during the 20th Party Congress in 2022.

Beijing and the U.S. have  agreed to form a working group on climate change, a top Chinese news agency reported on Sunday.

Xinhua News Agency reported that the Chinese delegation claimed the two sides had agreed upon the formation of a working group, as well as “enhancing communication and cooperation in the field of climate change” during talks in Alaska between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and top Chinese Communist Party officials.

A State Department spokesperson denied, however, that a working group had been established.

“The two sides discussed the climate crisis but did not form a formal working group,” said a spokesperson.

“More broadly, we know the climate challenge does not get successfully addressed without significant additional action by China. China represents almost 30 percent of global emissions, in addition to its carbon-intensive investments abroad,” they added. “We will continue to engage China and other key countries as we move forward to address the climate crisis. All countries must raise their ambitions as we move toward COP26 in Glasgow.””

Both China and the Biden administration have made public commitments in the past year to stop man-made climate change. The U.S. moved to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord earlier this year, and China pledged last fall to become carbon-neutral nationwide by 2060.

John Kerry, the Biden administration’s special envoy to the U.N. on climate change, said in February that all nations must pledge to go further than what the Paris accords call for to completely stop man-made climate change.

“We need the United States and every country to determine they will get on a path toward net-zero emissions by 2050. That is not something that we will do by countries just stepping up and saying ‘hey, we commit,'” he said.

“That doesn’t cut it…We go to Glasgow, all of us, being real about exactly what we need to do starting now. What steps will we take in the next 10 years?” Kerry added.

Updated at 1:20 p.m.

Tags Antony Blinken China Climate change John Kerry
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