May 31, 2017 / 7:11 PM / 3 years ago

China, EU to announce joint climate plans, support for Paris deal

FILE PHOTO: Participants are seen in silhouette as they look at a screen showing a world map with climate anomalies during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, December 8, 2015. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European and Chinese leaders will on Friday voice strong support for the Paris climate accord and present a series of joint plans to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, according to a document seen by Reuters.

The statement comes as U.S. President Donald Trump is set to withdraw from the Paris Agreement which aims to phase out net greenhouse gas emissions by the second half of the century and limit global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

“The EU and China consider climate action and the clean energy transition an imperative more important than ever,” according to the statement, which will be presented at a meeting of EU and Chinese officials in Brussels on Friday.

China and the EU will work together on a joint strategy to reduce greenhouse gases, implement emission trading schemes, and promote energy efficiency and the reduction of emissions from maritime transport and aviation.

They will also call on other global leaders to respect the commitments made in the Paris climate deal.

“The EU and China consider the Paris Agreement as an historic achievement further accelerating the irreversible global low greenhouse gas emission and climate resilient development,” the statement says.

Trump, who has expressed his doubts about climate change being man-made in the past and made a campaign pledge to “cancel” the 2015 Paris Agreement, has so far postponed a decision on whether to stick to or abandon the global deal.

China has been the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases stoking global warming since 2007, when it surpassed the United States, the world’s top emitter for the 20th century.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Robin Emmott

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