US-China diplomatic tensions cast doubt on global progress on climate change – National

China’s decision to halt bilateral talks with the United States on climate change has cast doubt on the world’s ambition to tackle global warming in a timely manner to avert its worst effects.

Tackling climate change has been a key area of ​​cooperation between the two superpowers and the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.

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China cuts dialogue with US and sanctions Pelosi over Taiwan visit

But China suspended talks on the issue less than 100 days before the next landmark international climate summit, COP27, as part of its escalating retaliation against US House Speaker Nancy Pelosis’ visit to Taiwan.

“No country should hold back progress on existential transnational issues because of bilateral differences,” said John Kerry, the former US Secretary of State who is currently the Biden administration’s top climate diplomat.

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“Suspending cooperation doesn’t penalize the United States — it penalizes the world, especially developing countries,” he said.

In recent years, climate change has remained an open avenue for cooperation between the United States and China, even as tensions have escalated on other issues such as human rights, forced labor, Hong Kong and Taiwan sovereignty, and trade.

In the run-up to the United Nations’ COP27 climate summit, which will take place in Egypt in November, representatives of the USA and China had begun to increase their commitment to climate issues.

Pelosi’s brief visit this week to self-governing Taiwan, which China claims as its own, enraged Beijing and sparked unprecedented Chinese military drills in the seas and air around the island.


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China fires ballistic missiles near Taiwan after Pelosi’s visit to major military exercises


China fires ballistic missiles near Taiwan after Pelosi’s visit to major military exercises

Past bilateral engagement on climate change between the two countries helped pave the way for the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 and restarted the faltering international climate talks in Glasgow in 2021.

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With the crucial climate summit on the horizon and countries backing away from the emission reduction pledges they made in Glasgow, a lack of commitment between the superpowers could turn negotiations on their head and weaken other countries’ ambitions, analysts said.

“The concern is that US-China tensions may become an excuse for those countries unwilling to engage,” said Bernice Lee, executive director of the Center for Sustainable Resource Economics at Chatham House.

“It is definitely important that the international community – particularly vulnerable developing countries – continue to ensure that large emitters continue to deliver what they have promised,” she said.

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John Kerry, the US special envoy on climate change, often reiterated that given its global importance, the US and China could isolate climate change as an area for joint discussion without getting caught up in other complex issues.

“With geopolitics now being the tail that wags the climate dog, it represents a shift in Beijing’s approach from considering the merits of allowing climate to be an ‘oasis’ in its own right in the relationship to a commitment to those who do.” just think through a geopolitical prism,” said Thom Woodroofe, a fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute.

Domestic pressures could force China to continue tackling some of its emissions despite the diplomatic coldness. China, for example, could go ahead with a plan to reduce its methane, analysts said. Much of its methane emissions come from coal mines in the giant producer nation.

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“Chinese policymakers are making major efforts to develop a national plan to curb methane emissions,” said Joanna Lewis, professor of energy and the environment at Georgetown University. “Even if international engagement on the issue stalls, this domestic war on methane will not stall as it is an integral part of China’s strategic plan to control emissions.”

Other observers say the pause in negotiations may be temporary and that the US and China have still come together despite years of shifting relations.


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China is conducting ballistic missile exercises off the coast of Taiwan in response to Pelosi’s visit


China is conducting ballistic missile exercises off the coast of Taiwan in response to Pelosi’s visit

“This has always been a mix of ups and downs,” said Alden Meyer, a senior associate at consulting firm E3G. “I think the question here is is this a short-term tactical move by Beijing to try and get Washington’s attention, or is this part of a larger, longer-term strategic adjustment by China?”

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(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; additional reporting by Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; editing by Doina Chiacu and Alistair Bell)

https://globalnews.ca/news/9040995/china-united-states-climate-change/ US-China diplomatic tensions cast doubt on global progress on climate change – National

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