EU and China seek common ground on climate change

President Trump might not share European Union officials' support for the international pact on climate change, but Chinese Premier Li Keqiang does.

Jason Spencer | Jun 02, 2017

   

President Trump might not share European Union officials' support for the international pact on climate change, but Chinese Premier Li Keqiang does. The Chinese head of state plans to meet with EU officials in Brussels and discuss a shared policy for addressing world greenhouse gas-emissions and strategies to cope with climate change's worst impacts.

"China will stand by its responsibilities on climate change, " he told reporters after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. Keqiang stated support for the 2015 Paris climate-change agreement that President Obama had signed.

The Chinese premier and all 28 EU member nations have additionally released a joint statement pledging to fully commit to the Paris agreement's implementation. This joint statement calls on the signatories to reduce fossil-fuel use, boost clean-energy technology, and work together to raise $100 billion a year by 2020 to aid less-affluent countries in cutting back their emissions.

Keqiang flew out to Brussels shortly afterward, where he will talk further with EU leaders about the Paris climate agreement. They will also discuss North Korea's missile tests and global steel capacity.

Trump has said that he will pull the United States out of the accord, a move that European leaders and climate advocates have widely condemned. Climate advocates have expressed alarm that the agreement will be weaker without U.S. involvement, but Miguel Arias Canete, the EU's energy commissioner, looks to China to be a powerful climate ally in the United States' absence.

"At a moment in which the United States have doubts about the benefits of remaining in the Paris agreement ... two major players in the climate arena declare that they are committed to the Paris agreement," Canete told Reuters.

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