China, EU face climate change challenges

By Zhang Hui Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/1 22:03:39

China and the EU will have to face a tougher challenge in dealing with climate change, Chinese experts said, following the possible withdrawal of the US from the Paris agreement.

China and EU will release a joint statement on climate change cooperation in Brussels on Friday, where Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will meet EU leaders at a summit as part of his three-day Europe visit.

The statement, the first between China and the EU, includes their stand on cutting back on fossil fuels, developing more green technology and helping raise $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poorer countries cut emissions, Reuters reported.

Just before the statement was released, US President Donald Trump posted on Twitter that he would announce his decision on the Paris deal by Thursday afternoon. Previous reports said he was likely to pull the US out of the deal.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Thursday that China would strengthen its measures in dealing with climate change no matter what other countries do.

China will also strengthen communications and cooperation with the EU on climate change, Hua said.

With its stable political and economic environment and resolve to reducing emissions, China is expected to play a more proactive role in slowing down global warming, Yang Fuqiang, a senior advisor at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told the Global Times.

China will face more pressure from the international community to deal with climate change once the US pulls out, said Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University.

In January, China released a comprehensive plan on emission reductions for 2016 to 2020. Measures include reducing the coal consumption rate, controlling energy consumption and intensifying controls on emissions.

Yang warned that other developed countries, especially those allied with the US, may also withdraw from the Paris deal or reduce their roles.

The Paris Agreement was adopted by 196 parties in Paris in 2015, and took effect in November, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

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