Promoted post: Does Islam Tackle the Crisis of Climate Change?
5 minute read
Updated 9:01 AM EST, Wed November 15, 2023
The United States and China have agreed to resume a working group on climate cooperation and pledged a major ramp-up of renewable energy, the two sides announced Wednesday ahead of a leaders’ summit in San Francisco, as the world’s two largest polluters seek to overcome their geopolitical tensions to tackle the climate crisis.
The announcement came hours before US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are set to sit down on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit for their first talk in a year – a highly anticipated meeting aimed at stabilizing rocky relations.
Cooperation on climate change has long been seen as a rare bright spot in an otherwise difficult US-China relationship strained by tensions over trade, technology, human rights and geopolitics. But even that bright spot had dimmed over the past year, with Beijing cutting off climate talks with Washington in retaliation for a high-level US visit to Taiwan last summer.
The statement on Wednesday, released separately by the US State Department and China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment, followed days of meetings between US climate envoy John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua at the Sunnylands retreat in California earlier this month. The two envoys also met in Beijing for talks this summer.
The two sides decided to “operationalize” a suspended bilateral working group to “engage in dialogue and cooperation to accept concrete climate actions” in this decade, according to the statement. That working group was first proposed by Kerry and Xie in 2021 at the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, but has been on hold since August last year.
The statement also vows a major ramp-up of renewable energy including wind, solar, and battery storage to help run each country’s massive power sector – specifically to take the place of planet-warming fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.