The top United States diplomat in China, David Meale, said that the United States and China had a fantastic year for associations dealing with the climate crisis. However, the U.S. urges China to adopt more impressive carbon cut goals. Further, he said that what China does on burning coal will be critical to whether the world can achieve its target of limiting international warming at 1.5 °C by the century’s end, as set by the 2015 Paris Climate agreement.
China is the biggest producer and consumer of coal and is the largest energy consumer globally. It emits twenty-seven percent of the global carbon dioxide, the most of any nation. Until now, China didn’t show any intention of approaching its timeline to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2060 – ten years later than several countries – and for carbon emissions to the highest level by 2030 or earlier. In addition, the U.S. Senate has yet to approve the nominee of Joe Biden for ambassador to China – Nicholas Burns, the former senior State Department official.
At times, China seemed to signify it would tie cooperation between the nations on the climate crisis to other issues. Moreover, Meale quoted the United States-China accord to work harder together to decrease emissions this decade, achieved in November at COP26 in Glasgow, as a sign of the willingness of China to engage. Meale said that Beijing and Washington have differences in several fields, but this is one area where both countries are cooperating very productively.
1.5 °C Goal is in Danger
Meale said during a news conference on Friday that the 1.5 °C goal of the whole world is in danger. Therefore, all major carbon-consuming countries should raise their ambition, take new initiatives and make compromises at national levels to achieve the climate goal. So, there is an exceptional need for engagement, collective thinking to ask ourselves, and exchange of expertise so that the world can rescue the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal.
Xi Jinping Vowed to Discontinue Building new Coal-fired Plants Overseas
He added that the actions of the Chinese government would hopefully give confidence to other nations about where the world is going forward towards the climate crisis question, will also motivate them to raise their own goal. In an address to the United Nations (UN), Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China wouldn’t develop new coal-fired plants overseas. However, it appears China will go on with those coal plants for which it already signed agreements, and it is still unclear whether local banks of China will continue to finance such projects in the future.
President Xi Jinping’s pledge that China would no longer fund construction of new coal-fired power projects overseas has cast a shadow on two projects in Tanzania 🇹🇿 🇨🇳
▶A planned 600MW coal-fired power plant at Mchuchuma
▶The proposed 200MW Kiwira coal-fired power plant pic.twitter.com/33Sau19JOp
— Tanzania Business Insight (@TanzaniaInsight) September 22, 2021
Chinese president vow did not affect national developments, and the country continued to build coal-fired plants within the country quickly. Furthermore, with the mounting use of wind and solar power, China slightly reduced its dependence on coal as a part of energy production from over seventy percent to about fifty-seven percent. In recent months, China also increased its coal production to ensure a solid supply for winter heating purposes, and Meale called it a challenging short-term development.
China Should Continue to Grow its Economy while Cutting Emissions
China should focus on one of the fundamental challenges of shifting away from hydrocarbons, for which the country needs practical transition actions and plans. The last some decades of swift economic growth dramatically expanded the energy needs of China. On the other hand, Meale said that the United States already revealed that a nation could continue to raise its economy while cutting carbon emissions.
The absence of the Chinese president from the Glasgow dialogs drew criticism from U.S. President Joe Biden and questions about the commitment of the country to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Xi didn’t leave his country in around two years of the coronavirus pandemic. On the other hand, China argued that climate meeting organizers didn’t share a video link for him to address the conference. Instead, they prompted him to send a written statement.