U.S., China agree to work on climate change

BEIJING Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:16am EST

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens to a question during a discussion with Chinese bloggers in Beijing February 15, 2014. REUTERS/Evan Vucci/Pool

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens to a question during a discussion with Chinese bloggers in Beijing February 15, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Evan Vucci/Pool

BEIJING (Reuters) - China and the United States, the world's top emitters of greenhouse gases, pledged on Saturday to work together to attenuate the effects of global climate change.

"China and the United States will work together ... to collaborate through enhanced policy dialogue, including the sharing of information regarding their respective post-2020 plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions," according to a U.S.-China joint statement issued at the end of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's whirlwind Beijing visit.

The two sides "commit to devote significant effort and resources to secure concrete results" by the Sixth U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue later this year, the statement added.

"Both sides reaffirm their commitment to contribute significantly to successful 2015 global efforts to meet this challenge," the statement said.

International talks to try to agree on a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the first and only international agreement to tackle climate change, are due to be held in Paris next year. The United States never ratified the Kyoto deal.

A new global pact might include pledges on curbing greenhouse gas emissions and measures to enable the poorest nations to adapt better to climate change.

Kerry welcomed Chinese cooperation.

"This is a unique, cooperative effort between China and the United States and we have hopes that it will help to set an example for global leadership and global seriousness on the issue of next year's climate negotiation," Kerry told reporters before departing for Jakarta.

"China and the United States will put an extra effort into exchanging information and discussing policies that will help both of us to be able to develop and lead on the standards that need to be announced next year for the global climate change agreement," Kerry said.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a report last September they were more convinced than ever that humans are the main culprits for global warming, and predicted the impact from greenhouse gas emissions could linger for centuries.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the study was a call for governments, many of which have been focused on spurring weak economies rather than fighting climate change, to work to reach a planned U.N. accord in 2015 to combat global warming.

Ban is seeking to re-energize the global climate change debate and boost the U.N.'s role. He has appointed former New York city mayor Michel Bloomberg, former Ghana president John Kufuor and former Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg as special envoys on climate change.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Writing by Benjamin Kang Lim; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

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Comments (9)
Patriot8251 wrote:
I’ve said this for years–US manufactures are at a competitive disadvantage with countries like China.

From what I understand, China has some of the most stringent environmental laws on the books; however, their enforcement efforts are repugnant. For example, China signed the Kyoto Protocol May 29, 1998, and they ratified the protocol August 30, 2002 (https://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/status_of_ratification/items/2613.php).

However, during the 2008 Olympics games held in Beijing (6 years after ratifying the Kyoto Protocol), the smog was so thick that one could not see (http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/05/15/beijings-olympic-smog-shows-pollutions-effect-on-health).

I believe if we are to be trading partners with any other nation state (especially China), then they must have equal environmental, workers safety, and labor laws on the books such as those of the US, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.

Moreover, those laws must be enforceable and verifiable by an independent agency, e.g., International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

To begin, foreign manufactures trading with the US, at a minimum, must be ISO 9000, 14000, and 26000 certified.

Furthermore, those audit reports must be transparent and publicly available.

Feb 15, 2014 11:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
carlmartel wrote:
At the Durban Climate Change Conference in late 2011, China presented a 22 point environmental plan that would cost China $340 billion per year for 5 years. It included wind, solar, and nuclear power, and it would focus on improvements in manufacturing. China already leads the world in wind, solar, and nuclear power plants, but it will add more of each type of renewable energy production.

China passed the US in TOTAL national pollution recently, but each US citizen creates four times as much pollution as each Chinese. China simply has four and one half times as many people as the US. Chinese leaders said for years that they would deal with pollution when they could do so without harming the economic security of their people. Now, they have the resources, and they elected a president who has a degree in chemical engineering to oversee their new five year plan that will likely be extended for a few decades. However, China has a much more comprehensive plan than the US.

In addition, the US has encouraged China to live like America since 1972, and the US got its wish, so the US has no right to complain at this time. Finally, the prevailing airs have always moved from west to east, so the US knew or should have known that China’s pollution was coming across the Pacific. Americans should enjoy America’s success whenever they breathe China’s smog that America worked long and hard to create.

Feb 15, 2014 3:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
disengage wrote:
like the Chinese care about losing a million, or so people, thru anything…look at their history…more talk, more committees, more wine, more nothingness..no wonder Kerry is there…wine, mirrors, entourages, blather..all paid by the American taxpayer

Feb 15, 2014 3:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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