United States and China pledge to tackle climate change

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”.

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