ARKANSAS, Nov 15 (Future Headlines)- The United States and China have pledged to revive a bilateral working group on climate and collaborate on addressing key environmental challenges, as outlined in a joint statement following talks between the countries. The announcement comes after the meeting between the top climate envoys, John Kerry and Xie Zhenhua, in Sunnylands, California, on November 4-7, aimed at finding common ground ahead of the crucial COP28 climate talks in Dubai at the end of the month.

  • Key Points

Bilateral Working Group Revival: The joint statement indicates the re-establishment of a bilateral working group on climate between the U.S. and China. This marks a normalization of their climate relationship after a hiatus triggered in 2022.

Focus Areas: The working group will focus on key areas of cooperation, including addressing methane emissions, tackling plastic pollution, and supporting the energy transition. It aims to facilitate the exchange of information on policies and technologies to reduce emissions.

G20 Renewable Energy Declaration: Both countries expressed support for a G20 declaration to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030. This commitment aligns with broader international efforts to transition to renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Cooperation on Forest Loss and Plastic Pollution: The U.S. and China committed to working together to curb forest loss and combat plastic pollution. These environmental issues have significant global implications for biodiversity, ecosystems, and marine life.

Normalization of Climate Relationship: The revival of the working group signals the normalization of the climate relationship between the U.S. and China. The hiatus was triggered by concerns related to a visit to Taiwan by former House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2022.

Efforts to Cut Carbon Emissions in China: China’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions will be a focal point at the upcoming COP28 talks. The joint statement does not explicitly mention phasing out fossil fuels but emphasizes accelerating the substitution for coal, oil, and gas generation.

Carbon Capture and Storage Projects: The U.S. and China committed to advancing “at least five” large-scale cooperation projects in carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) by the end of the decade. CCUS is considered a key technology for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.

Global Stocktake at COP28: COP28 discussions will include a “global stocktake” to assess progress toward meeting the goals set in the 2015 Paris Agreement. The U.S. and China acknowledged the need for “significantly more ambition and implementation” to achieve these goals.

Call for Climate Financing Commitments: The joint statement includes a commitment to a global stocktake that calls for developed countries to meet their climate financing commitments. Climate financing is crucial for supporting developing nations in their climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.

In conclusion, the joint statement between the U.S. and China outlines a commitment to collaborate on climate issues, reaffirming their engagement on critical environmental challenges. The re-establishment of the bilateral working group reflects a renewed effort to address shared concerns and advance climate action. As both countries are major contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions, their collaboration is essential for achieving international climate goals and fostering a coordinated global response to the climate crisis.

Reporting by Emad Martin