By Anthony Adragna
Feb. 14 --Top Chinese leaders and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
discussed potential additional actions both countries could take to address
climate change and meaningful targets for emissions reductions ahead of a 2015
international conference in Paris where both nations hope to complete an
“ambitious” international agreement on climate change.
Kerry, speaking to
reporters in Beijing following the meetings, praised the efforts of the
U.S.-China climate change working group but said both nations needed to do more
ahead of the 2015 international conference. The secretary of state further
called for both nations to “make good” on a promise made by President Barack
Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping to phase down the use of
“If we follow through on all of the fronts
that are available to us, we have an opportunity to make real progress in the
fight against climate change,” Kerry said.
Kerry said he held meetings
with Xi, Premier Li Keqiang, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, and Foreign Minister
Wang Yi, among others.
President Xi promised his nation was committed to
taking action on climate change and vowed to “do more” to address the issue,
according to state-run news agency Xinhua.
“It is not at others' demand
but our own will,” Xi said according to Xinhua. “We have already taken many
measures and will do more in the future.”
At a Feb. 13 briefing on
Kerry's trip to Asia, a senior State Department official said the issue of
climate change would be a “high” priority issue throughout the six-day trip
through South Korea, China and Indonesia.
“The Secretary is convinced
that this is a critical area for cooperation between the U.S. and China,
particularly given that we are the world's two largest emitters of carbon,” the
official said. “He will want to discuss both practical steps that we can take
as well as ways that the U.S. and China can effectively cooperate as part of
the global effort.”
Progress on addressing climate change will hinge on
the efforts of the United States and China, which account for approximately 45
percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, according to a 2013 European
countries have increased their public cooperation on the issue over the past
year. In April 2013, the U.S. and China announced a working group to work
together on technology, research, conservation, and alternative and renewable
energy sources to combat climate change through “forceful” action .
Then, in June 2013, Obama and Xi announced an agreement to phase out the use
of HFCs in air conditioning and refrigeration units, which they reaffirmed in
a second statement in September.
Environmental Protection Agency
Administrator Gina McCarthy and China's Minister of Environmental Protection
Zhou Shengxian then reiterated their joint commitment to reducing emissions
from marine vessels, soil pollution, impacts from shale gas and mercury
pollution, according to a report issued by China following a December 2013
meeting. Both nations said they “continue to deepen cooperation and enhance”
trust on environmental issues .
To contact the reporter on
this story: Anthony Adragna in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible
for this story: Larry Pearl at email@example.com
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