Offbeat New hung in climate struggle with the freezing of Sino-American cooperation

02:20  06 august  2022
02:20  06 august  2022 Source:   lepoint.fr

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Une centrale dans la province chinoise de Hebei le 12 novembre 2021 © Greg Baker A power station in the Chinese province of Hebei on November 12, 2021

The frost by Beijing of its cooperation with Washington on warming is disturbing, Cons up the experts, hoping, however, that this cold stroke between the two biggest transmitters is only a passenger so as not to weaken even more the future of humanity.

Une pancarte © Kena Betancur A sign "Protect future generations" during a climate demonstration in New York on November 13, 2021

during the UN COP26 climate conference at the end of 2021 in Glasgow, the United States and the China had announced a surprise agreement to strengthen their climate action and their ambitions.

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But after the visit to Taiwan of the president of the American House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, China suspended all cooperation with the Americans on Friday in several areas, including the fight against climate change.

"This is obviously worrying," said AFP Alden Meyer, analyst at the E3G reflection center.

"It is impossible to tackle the climate emergency if the two main economies and the two largest issuers do not act, and it is always preferable that they do it in collaboration," he added .

This cooperation between the two countries is essential on all "pressing problems", also estimated the secretary general of the UN Antonio Guterres.

But the Chinese announcement above all raises a lot of questions. "Is it a tactical decision or a long-term strategy? Does China mean that this cooperation is impossible as long as there are tensions?" Insisted Alden Meyer. Or what consequences on COP27 in Egypt in November?

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"What are the conditions to reopen the dialogue? What can we do while waiting to limit damage and rebuild confidence?" Continued Li Shuo, from Greenpeace, on Twitter.

"The answers will be important not only (for the two countries) but also for the planet," insisted the activist.

- "Catastrophe" -

The Earth has won an average of almost 1.2 ° C from the pre -industrial era, already multiplying heat waves, droughts, floods or storms on all continents. And according to UN climate experts (IPCC), mercury could climb by +2.8 ° C by 2100 even if the States held their commitments.

Even more weakened commitments by the economic crisis caused by the Pandemic of COVID-19 and by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which has notably led to the revival of coal-fired power plants.

In this context, for François Gemenne, author of the IPCC, the Chinese decision is "a total disaster for the climate", "comparable to the American withdrawal of the Paris Agreement" which aims to limit warming well below +2 ° C, if possible +1.5 ° C.

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Donald Trump had removed the United States from the agreement before Joe Biden returned to it in 2021 after his election to the White House.

But this temporary American withdrawal had been accompanied by a backtracking the American domestic and external policy in terms of climate matters, note the experts.

Conversely, the announcement of China "is certainly not a withdrawal of the international scene on climatic issues or a rejection of climate action," insisted AFP David Waskow, of the World Resources Institute.

"Breaking with diplomacy does not mean that China renounces its commitments," added Mohamed Adow, from the Power Shift Africa reflection center. "In many ways, China is ahead of the United States in its fight against warming," he told AFP.

Joe Biden is committed to reducing American emissions by 50 to 52% by 2030 compared to 2005 and reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. But his ambitions were thwarted by the impossibility of having adopted until 'Now by the congress of green energy projects and climate initiatives, even if recent progress has been recorded.

For its part, China, the first greenhouse gas transmitter in absolute value but far behind in terms of emissions per capita, is committed to reaching its peak of emissions in 2030 and carbon neutrality in 2060.

and cooperation or not with the United States, "there will be pressure on China from other countries, EU, vulnerable countries" to strengthen its commitments, assured Alden Meyer.


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