Why China is stepping up against climate change

  • Why China is stepping up against climate change

Why China is stepping up against climate change

The US withdrawal from the Paris climate accord is a global setback, but China, India and Europe are willing to step up their efforts to honour the pact, Chinese state media said Friday.

Trump said that the "world's leading polluters" have been let off the hook, pointing a finger at China and India.

While China has moved quickly to step into the leadership role vacated by Trump, it's likely that Xi will be looking for more than just increased prestige and prominence in worldwide affairs.

With media reports swirling that Trump had chose to pull Washington out of the accord, America's global allies and Trump's domestic opponents have lashed out at the billionaire.

"But of course, we also hope to do this in cooperation with others", added Li, as Merkel hailed China's pledge.

Without mentioning the US specifically, Li said that "China in recent years has stayed true to its commitment" and pointed out that his was one of the first countries to ratify the 2015 Paris Agreement.

"We also hear that our actions and leading role are applauded by the worldwide community", foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters on Friday.

It is estimated that even if the United States had kept to its Paris pledge, its coal use in 2030 would probably be similar to that of India in that year, even though India's population is three times larger. Under Obama, the U.S. was relatively assertive about tackling climate change on an global scale, leading the Copenhagen Accord agreement in 2009 and ratifying the landmark Paris climate change agreement last September.

A few days ago, Trump told EU Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker that "the Germans are bad, very bad" over the German trade surplus with the USA, according to German media.

But since the G7 summit, Merkel and other senior German politicians have signaled that they do not see a Trump-led U.S.as a reliable partner on a host of issues from free trade to climate change.

Under the deal, the United States was to cut its emissions by 26-28% by 2025. The fact that Trump welcomes Brexit and urges other states to follow suit shows that he has "an uncanny approach" towards relations with the European Union, he said, adding, that this situation "requires intensive negotiations".

What happens if the United States withdraws from the Paris climate deal?

Trump's new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, climate sceptic Scott Pruitt, has said he wants Washington to quit the Paris deal.

European diplomats have been miffed by the Trump administration's disregard for climate change, causing a rift in transatlantic relations. Both were key to the 2015 Paris agreement, which was signed by 195 countries and aims to limit the increase of global temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2100.

If the United States decides to pull out, it will join Syria and Nicaragua as the only two countries not participating in the accord.