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China and US come to shock climate settlement - The Hill

The U.S. and China on Wednesday pledged to work together to slow global warming during this decade, surprising attendees of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow during the global summit’s final days.

"There is more agreement between the US and China than divergence, making it an area of huge potential for cooperation," China’s climate envoy Xie Zhenhua said at a news conference. "The release of this joint statement shows again that cooperation is the only choice for both China and the United States. By working together our two countries can achieve many important things that are beneficial not only to our two countries but the world as a whole."

The agreement, marking a rare moment of cooperation between the two superpowers, will tackle climate change by phasing out coal and reducing methane emissions. The U.S. and China are the world’s two largest emitters of carbon dioxide, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.


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Xie added that a “consensus” was reached on a series of issues pertaining to the Paris climate agreement to limit the rise in global temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius, preferably 1.5 degrees Celsius.

China did not commit to the Global Methane Pledge, led by the U.S. and European Union, which requires signatory countries to cut methane emissions by roughly a third. Xie said China plans to develop its own plan for methane.

In a separate news conference immediately following Xie’s, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry told reporters he was “pleased” about the agreement.

"The U.S. and China have no shortage of differences, but on climate, cooperation is the only way to get this job done,” he said.

Kerry said he first started talking to Xie in February just after President Biden was sworn in and the agreement is the result of nearly three dozen negotiating sessions. He added that Biden and China’s Xi Jinping are slated to have a virtual meeting sometime in the near future.


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