Climate crisis: United States and China pledge to co-operate.

The United States and China have agreed to co-operate with other countries to curb climate change, just days before US president Joe Biden hosts a virtual summit of world leaders to discuss the issue.

The agreement between the world’s largest two polluters was reached by US climate envoy John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua during two days of talks in Shanghai last week, the US State Department said in a statement.

“The United States and China are committed to co-operating with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the seriousness and urgency that it demands,” the joint statement said.

China and the United States are the world’s top carbon polluters, pumping out nearly half of the fossil fuel fumes that are warming the planet’s atmosphere.

Their co-operation is key to a success of global efforts to curb climate change, but frayed ties over human rights, trade and China’s territorial claims to Taiwan and the South China Sea have been threatening to undermine such efforts.

According to the joint statement, the two countries will enhance “their respective actions and co-operating in multilateral processes, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement”.

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

Mr Kerry’s Shanghai trip marked the highest-level travel to China by a US official since Mr Biden took office in January.

From Shaghai, the former secretary of state flew to South Korea for talks.

Mr Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Chinese president Xi Jinping, to the April 22nd-23rd summit.

The United States and other countries are expected to announce more ambitious national targets for cutting carbon emissions ahead of or at the meeting, along with pledging financial help for climate efforts by less wealthy nations.

It was unclear during Mr Kerry’s visit how much it would promote US-China co-operation on climate issues.

When Mr Kerry was still in Shanghai, Chinese vice foreign minister Le Yucheng signalled on Friday that China is unlikely to make any new pledges at next week’s summit.

“For a big country with 1.4 billion people, these goals are not easily delivered,” Mr Le said during an interview with the Associated Press in Beijing.

“Some countries are asking China to achieve the goals earlier. I am afraid this is not very realistic,” he added.

On whether Mr Xi would join the summit, Mr Le said: “The Chinese side is actively studying the matter.”

Mr Biden, who has said that fighting global warming is among his highest priorities, had the United States rejoin the Paris climate accord in the first hours of his presidency, undoing the withdrawal ordered by predecessor Donald Trump.

Major emitters of greenhouse gases are preparing for the next UN climate summit taking place in Glasgow in November. – PA

The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Live: House reviews January 6th attack on the US Capitol.

Live: House reviews January 6th attack on the US Capitol.

House Administration Committee holds virtual hearing on "Oversight of the January 6th Attack: US Capitol Police Threat Assessment & Counter-Surveillance Before & During Attack." Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Chan...

Outrage as bombing kills dozens of students outside of Kabul school.

Outrage as bombing kills dozens of students outside of Kabul school.

A weekend attack in Afghanistan has killed at least 53 people and injured more than 150 others, most of whom were students at a Kabul high school. CBS News foreign correspondent Charlie D'Agata spoke with CBN's Tanya Rivero about his visit to a ho...

BREAKING: Whale put down after becoming stranded in River Thames.

BREAKING: Whale put down after becoming stranded in River Thames.

A young minke whale that became stranded in the River Thames has been put down. A vet euthanised the animal after it became "very distressed" and was seen trapped against the riverbank near Teddington in south west London. Rescuers had previously ...

Emerging from Pandemic, Smithsonian Re-opens Eight of its Museums.

Emerging from Pandemic, Smithsonian Re-opens Eight of its Museums.

After more than a year in shutdown brought on by the pandemic, eight Smithsonian Museum facilities in and around Washington are reopening this month. VOA’s Julie Taboh has more.  Camera:  Mike Burke            Produced by: Julie Taboh / Mike Burke

Victims still feel pain of Ballymurphy shootings

Victims still feel pain of Ballymurphy shootings

Victims have told Sky News they still feel the pain of the 1971 Ballymurphy shootings, when 10 people were shot and killed in west Belfast. It comes after an amnesty on historical prosecutions in Northern Ireland will apply to former soldiers and ...

UMass facing lawsuit after suspending students for not wearing masks outside.

UMass facing lawsuit after suspending students for not wearing masks outside.

'Outnumbered' panel discusses parents suing the University of Massachusetts Amherst after the school suspended three students and barred them from taking finals for not wearing masks outside at an off-campus event. Subscribe to Fox News! Watch mor...