US, China agree to cooperate on climate change 'with urgency'

John Kerry can be seen gesturing as he speaks

John Kerry can be seen gesturing as he speaks

Li Shuo, a policy advisor at Greenpeace East Asia, said the joint statement showed the "unequivocal commitment" of the United States and China in tackling climate change and should "put global climate momentum back on high gear".

The US and China, the world's biggest carbon polluters, said on Saturday that they would work together urgently to fight climate change.

The Chinese leader's comments come as United States climate envoy John Kerry is in Shanghai to drum up support from the world's biggest polluter for America's drive to address environmental challenges.

Kerry arrived in Shanghai on Wednesday night under tight COVID-19 protocols and was transferred to a secluded hotel not open to the public.

The United States and China have both expressed the willingness to cooperate with one another on the pressing issue of climate crisis.

Their cooperation is key to a success of global efforts to curb climate change, but frayed ties over human rights, trade and China's territorial claims to Taiwan and the South China Sea have been threatening to undermine such efforts.

President Joe Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, to a virtual climate summit from April 22-23. China has already promised enhanced actions as it tries to meet its goal to become "carbon neutral" by 2060.

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Li Shuo, senior climate adviser for the environmental group Greenpeace, said China could soon respond to a new USA pledge with one of its own, building on the "momentum" of the Shanghai talks.

"For a big country with 1.4 billion people, these goals are not easily delivered", Le said during an interview with The Associated Press in Beijing.

The US and China remain "firmly committed" to working together and with other countries to strengthen the implementation of the Paris Agreement, the statement said. "I am afraid this is not very realistic".

China in recent years has taken over the mantle of global climate leadership left vacant when former USA president Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris agreement to address the catastrophic effects of global warming.

Major emitters of greenhouse gases are preparing for the next United Nations climate summit taking place in the UK in November.

The United States and China will continue to discuss, both on the road to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) and beyond, concrete actions in the 2020s to reduce emissions aimed at keeping the Paris Agreement-aligned temperature limit within reach, read the statement.

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