US and China reveal surprise joint declaration promising action at COP26

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
John Kerry said China and the US will work together to tackle climate change  (PA Wire)
John Kerry said China and the US will work together to tackle climate change (PA Wire)

The US and China unveiled a rare joint declaration promising action at COP26.

They are the world’s two biggest emitters but the countries have now vowed to take action in a “joint Glasgow declaration on enhancing climate action in the 2020s”.

They plan to ramp up cooperation tackling climate change including reducing methan emissions, protecting forests and phasing out coal.

The statement recognises the need to step up the action to meet the Paris Agreement goal to limit temperature rises to 1.5C.

John Kerry told a news conference: "Together we set out our support for a successful COP26, including certain elements which will promote ambition.

"Every step matters right now, and we have a long journey ahead of us."

Mr Kerry added: “The United States and China have no shortage of differences, but on climate, co-operation is the only way to get this job done.

“This is not a discretionary thing, frankly, this is science, it’s maths and physics that dictate the road that we have to travel. And we cannot reach our goals unless all of us work together.

“Every country, China and the United States particularly, as the two largest emitters in the world, both have to help show the way. We need to raise ambition and we need to take action in this decisive decade.”

China’s climate envoy Xie Zhenhua said the agreement between China and the US on climate change meant there was a huge scope for potential to work together in the future.

Mr Xie said: “We will jointly strengthen climate action and cooperation with respect to our national situations and circumstances to accelerate a green and low carbon transition.

“Climate change is a common challenge shared by humanity, it bears on the wellbeing of future generations. Now climate change is becoming increasingly urgent and severe, (turning) it from a future challenge to an existential crisis.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping is not attending the United Nations meeting in person.

Instead, last week he delivered a written statement to the opening section of the summit when leaders usually give speeches.

The joint declaration to fight climate change was welcomed by Boris Johnson’s climate spokeswoman.

Allegra Stratton told Channel 4 News: “Clearly it is welcome that the world’s two biggest emitters have decided to work together to bring down carbon emissions.

“But you will have to give us time to digest the detail of what they are calling their declaration.”

Read More

COP26: Sadiq Khan blasts climate delayers

Only one in five backs politicians to make global warming agreement, poll finds

Labour accuses Tory MPs of raking in £1.7 million in consultancy fees

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting