Increasing cooperation among the two countries on climate change has been announced between China and the United States, the largest and second-largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world.
At the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, and organized by the United Nations, the nations announced that they had concluded a pact to reduce global warming by reducing methane emissions, tackling deforestation, and eliminating fossil fuels, particularly coal.
During the announcement, China’s envoy to COP26, Xie Zhenhua, said, “Both sides recognize that we have a gap between our efforts and the Paris Agreement goals, so we will work together to strengthen climate action.”
Furthermore, the countries have stated that they will adhere to the 2015 Paris climate agreement guidelines and intend to decrease emissions by 2025.
Globally, these two countries are responsible for over 40 percent of all carbon emissions. No government, however, has refused to take concrete action in reducing carbon emissions by committing to phase out fossil fuels by 2030.
China and the United States, as two of the largest powers in the world, must take responsibility for addressing climate change together with other parties, said Zhenhua.
The announcement was welcomed by both the United Nations and the European Union. The information surprised many, as relations between the two countries have been strained in recent years. Despite this, many non-governmental organizations dedicated to tackling the climate crisis have called for even more concrete action.
Although experts have praised the deal, given China’s reluctance to take climate action in the past, the agreement is heavily criticized for its lack of details.
Over 190 countries pledged to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 during the 2015 Paris climate summit. Still, according to a Climate Action Tracker report, only a few have taken sufficient measures to do so.
Scientists have discovered that the Earth has already warmed by 1.1 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial levels, thus slipping away from the goal of limiting global temperatures to under 1.5 degrees Celsius.