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China and EU commit to cooperation on climate policy

Date
01 April 2014
China and EU commit to cooperation on climate policy

LONDON: The EU and China have pledged to ‘strengthen cooperation’ in order to effectively tackle climate change and cut greenhouse gas emissions in advance of the UNFCCC global climate talks in Paris next year.

Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Brussels yesterday to discuss bilateral relations with European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.

The EU leaders and President Jinping re-iterated their commitment to reducing greenhouse gases, and stated the importance of countries demonstrating climate leadership in advance of the 2015 talks.

In a joint statement released immediately after the meeting, the officials emphasized how “credible and verifiable domestic action” would be central to mitigating further warming.

Both sides also called on all participating countries to present their contributions to the international climate framework well in advance of the Paris conference.

Since taking office President Xi Jinping has been instrumental in driving the Clean Revolution forward in China. Prompted by public anger over unacceptably high levels of toxic smog, the President pledged to ‘declare war’ on pollution at the annual parliamentary sessions in March.

China’s strategy for pollution abatement revolves around the concept of ecocivilization, a policy which aims to achieve economic growth in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.

To date, the nation looks likely to spend more than 5 trillion yuan (US $817 billion) in environmental protection during the 12th Five-year Plan period (2011-15).

The EU has also been prioritizing action on climate change, with the news of bilateral solidarity between China and the EU coming just one week after EU and US climate cooperation was confirmed.

At a meeting in Brussels Jose Manuel Barroso, European Commission President and President Obama declared that they would work together in advance of the 2015 Paris summit to ensure that an ambitious global deal can be achieved.

Changhua Wu, Greater China Director, The Climate Group, commented: ‘It is very encouraging to see China and the EU publicly commit to tackle climate change and to work towards the low carbon future which all citizens need.  Paris 2015 will be a seminal event in the climate change trajectory but it is over a year away. It is vitally important that leaders act now to secure a better future for us. There is no time to waste."

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As climate scientists gather in Japan, UN reports 2013 was sixth warmest year on record

For further information of China's strategy please see: Eco-civilization: China's blueprint for a new era

By Alana Ryan

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