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China and EU to announce new climate measures at Brussels summit

Thursday, 1 June, 2017 - 14:33

As the world awaits President Donald Trump’s decision on whether to pull the US out of the Paris agreement, China and the EU are expected to announce a redoubling of their efforts to combat climate change at the China-EU summit taking place in Brussels. According to the Guardian newspaper, a statement due to be delivered at the summit will reaffirm the financial commitments made by Brussels and Beijing towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions while bringing the mid-century targets forward. Other proposals expected from the statement include increased cooperation on clean energy and greener transport. They will also announce more support for developing countries to make the transition to being low-carbon economies.

The document calls climate change a “national security issue” and the Paris agreement “irreversible”. This comes in stark contrast to the position taken by Donald Trump, who has in the past referred to climate change as a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese and vowed on several occasions during the presidential campaign to withdraw the US from the agreement if elected. On Wednesday the president tweeted that he will be announcing his decision on whether he is going to follow through on this election promise today at 3 PM (EST).

Speaking during a stop-off in Germany on his way to the summit Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said that China will stand by its responsibilities on climate change. Earlier this year China scrapped plans to build 103 coal-fired power plants and it increased its solar photovoltaic output by 80 percent in the first three months of the year. According to the Climate Action Tracker website, if current trends continue, China is on track to exceed its CO2 reduction targets under the Paris agreement. Besides climate change, issues surrounding trade, investment, tourism and human rights are also due to be discussed at the summit.

 


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