United States and China commit to working together on climate change

In call with Macron and Merkel, Xi slams EU's carbon tax plan

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng and U.S. climate envoy John Kerry met via video link on Friday, with both sides expressing willingness to cooperate on climate change, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported.

"The United States and China are committed to cooperating with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis", their joint statement said. Kerry is the first official from the Biden administration to visit China.

In a joint statement Saturday evening, Kerry and Xie said they would seek ways to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and to "taking enhanced climate actions that raise ambition in the 2020s in the context of the Paris Agreement with the aim of keeping the above temperature limit within reach".

Li Shuo, senior climate adviser for the environmental group Greenpeace, said China could soon respond to a new USA pledge with one of its own, building on the "momentum" of the Shanghai talks. "Some countries are asking China to achieve the goals earlier".

It listed multiple avenues of climate cooperation between the world's top two economies which together account for almost half of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.

US President Joe Biden is due to host an online summit of major greenhouse gas emitters starting on April 22.

China now has about half of the world's coal power, Kerry said, adding that he "talked a lot" about it with officials in Shanghai.

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"And because it's such a big and powerful economy and country, it needs to move".

Major emitters of greenhouse gases are preparing for the next United Nations climate summit taking place in the UK in November.

The two also said their countries would take short-term actions, such as helping developing nations fund the transition to more sustainable energy sources and phasing down production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons, a particularly potent greenhouse gas.

It said both countries "are firmly committed to working together and with other parties to strengthen implementation of the Paris Agreement".

The statement added that the two countries will take other actions in the short term to further contribute to addressing the climate crisis and will cooperate to promote a successful COP 26 in Glasgow.

"The hard meetings in Shanghai bore fruit".

China and the USA are the world's top carbon polluters, pumping out almost half of the fossil fuel fumes that are warming the planet's atmosphere.

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