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China urges Europe to take positive steps on climate change

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
China's chief climate negotiator Xie Zhenhua smiles as he takes part a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum 2022 (WEF) in the Alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland May 24, 2022. (Photo by Reuters)

Europe and other developed countries must take "positive action" to implement climate change goals as geopolitical uncertainties threaten to undermine their efforts, China's top climate envoy told his German counterpart.

Xie Zhenhua, who leads China's climate negotiations, told Germany's special climate envoy Jennifer Morgan via video link late on Wednesday that global climate governance was currently facing "multiple challenges and uncertainties".

"The climate policies of some European countries have shown a 'backswing', and it is hoped that this is just a temporary stopgap," he said, according to a summary of the meeting released by China's environment ministry.

As western countries raise coal consumption in order to offset gas supply disruptions brought about by the conflict in Ukraine, China's foreign ministry said in a statement this month that its own green and low-carbon development path remained firm - "in contrast with the European Union".

Europe has insisted the rise in coal use is only a temporary measure that will have no long-term impact on the EU target to cut emissions by 55% from 1990 to 2030.

China, the world's biggest carbon emitter, is expected to focus on the issue of financing at this year's global climate talks, known as COP27, which will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt in November.

Xie told Morgan that "implementation and action" should be the major theme of the meeting, and said he hoped industrialised countries would quickly meet their pledge under the Paris Agreement to transfer $100 billion a year in climate funds to developing nations.

After the visit of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan in August, China cancelled bilateral talks on climate with the United States, raising concerns that the battle against global warming would be undermined by geopolitical tensions.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi told UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday that all parties needed to build a "good political atmosphere" ahead of COP27 and "abandon unilateralism, geopolitical games and green barriers", according to a statement on the foreign ministry website.

(Source: Reuters)


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