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Ambassador Cao Zhongming: China Will Continue to Actively Participate in International Cooperation on Climate Change
2022-08-13 16:00

On 13 August, an article by Ambassador Cao Zhongming was published by EU Reporter:

China Will Continue to Actively Participate in International Cooperation on Climate Change

Cao Zhongming

Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Belgium

Due to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to China's Taiwan region, China had to announce eight countermeasures in response, including the suspension of bilateral climate talks with the US. However, the US side claimed that “Suspending cooperation doesn't punish the United States - it punishes the world, particularly the developing world”. This is purely reversing the truth, confusing the public and shirking responsibility.

For quite some time, China has repeatedly stressed to the US side that the one-China principle is the political foundation of the establishment and development of bilateral relations between China and other countries. In disregard of China's strong opposition, the US Government has allowed and endorsed Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. This has seriously violated China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and undermined the political foundation of China-US relations. China-US cooperation on climate change cannot be separated from the overall atmosphere of the bilateral relationship. It is the US that has acted recklessly and provocatively in the first place. China's legitimate countermeasure does not come without warning. We say what we mean and mean what we say. The responsibility should be and must be borne by the US side.

China has always been and will continue to be committed to real actions on global climate governance. We have made a solemn pledge to strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. We are endeavoring to formulate and implement a “1+N” policy framework for low-carbon development and green transition. By the end of last year, China's installed capacity of renewable energy totaled 1 billion kilowatts, accounting for 43.5 percent of the total installed power generation capacity. China's contribution to energy conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy development, green transportation and construction accounts for 30%-50% of the global total. China's firm determination and concrete actions to address climate change have been highly recognized by the international community.

In contrast, the US, as the world's largest cumulative emitter of greenhouse gases, emits 3.3 times more carbon per capita than the global average, and has an inescapable responsibility for global climate change. Yet, it has been going back and forth on its climate policy. Not long ago, the US Supreme Court decided to limit the US Environmental Protection Agency's authority to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Besides, the US has been sanctioning and suppressing China's solar companies under the pretext of so-called Xinjiang-related issues, which has dealt a heavy blow to the atmosphere of China-US bilateral cooperation as well as the climate response of China and other countries. These self-contradictory moves make the world question the US's capability to and seriousness on addressing climate change.

Actions speak louder than words. If the US truly cares about climate change, what it should do is to make concrete efforts to genuinely honor its historical responsibilities and obligations. What it should not do is ignoring COVID-19, the food crisis, instability of industrial and supply chains and other global issues, violating the sovereignty of other countries, or stirring up confrontation and creating tensions everywhere.

The US does not represent the world, still less all the developing countries. China's suspension of China-US bilateral climate talks is a legitimate and reasonable countermeasure to Pelosi's visit. As a responsible major country, China will continue to staunchly pursue its carbon peak and carbon neutrality targets, actively participate in international and multilateral cooperation on climate change, provide other developing countries with support and help as our ability permits, and make our own contributions to tackling the global climate challenge.  

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