The US and China agree to restart climate talks amid hopes of a wider thaw

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The world’s two biggest greenhouse gas emitters, the United States and China, have agreed to restart formal climate change talks that have been stalled for more than a year, in a move that ‘ movement could be included in international climate talks that will begin later this month in Dubai.

The two countries said they would also coordinate on reducing methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and work together to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

The announcement was made in a joint statement after three days of meetings between US climate envoy John F. Kerry and his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, in Sunnylands, California, last week.

It comes ahead of a meeting between President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Wednesday, when the two sides will try to reset a relationship that has rapidly deteriorated amid heated technology competition, a false balloon and China’s increasing military activity in and around the South China Sea. Taiwan.

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Kerry has made several attempts to revive the bilateral working group over the past year, after Beijing suspended it last August amid simmering tensions over Taiwan, a democracy an island China claims as its territory.

When Kerry visited Beijing in July, Xi did not meet him. Instead, Xi delivered a speech saying that China’s pace of reducing greenhouse gas emissions “should and must be determined without outside interference.”

The leaders of some of the world’s main climate institutions have worried that the strained relations between the two powers could stall progress at international talks at the annual UN Climate Change Conference, which also known as COP28, in Dubai.

They have been calling for the two superpowers to reach an agreement, saying that cooperation between the US and China is the key to jump-starting the international community’s feeble effort to stop the rise in global temperatures. world, which scientists say is contributing to more deadly fires, floods and storms.

“Such a signal from COP28 (would) add significant momentum to our fight against climate change,” International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol told The Post in an interview in September. “I don’t know how likely it is to see an agreement between China and the United States.” But I know it’s highly unlikely we’ll reach our climate targets without it.”

China ranks as the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, emitting approximately 12.7 billion metric tons annually, more than twice as much as the United States. But because of its earlier industrialization, the US bears more global responsibility for total carbon emissions, which remain in the atmosphere for decades. Americans also generate more emissions per person than their Chinese counterparts, according to several analysts.

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