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UK plans China climate talks as a last resort to break deadlock before Cop26 | climate crisis

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Boris Johnson will convene a final climate summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the World Summit later this month. Glasgow this November.

Xi will be invited to a high-level meeting at the UN General Assembly in New York on September 20, along with leaders of 30 other countries, the Guardian said.

China is critical to the success of Cop26, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, but concerns are growing as its current emission plans are considered too weak.

Global experts at the meeting said Britain’s failure to cut foreign aid and persuade wealthy countries to provide more climate finance jeopardized Cop26’s prospects for success by depriving China of much of its power to influence China. said. .

Tom Burke, a veteran adviser to the government and co-founder of the E3G green think tank, said the foolish decision to stop foreign aid removed an important diplomatic tool from the talks. Boris Johnson sent himself to the conference room naked. He has little to offer.

The informal meeting on September 20 will be a mix of virtual and face-to-face and will be co-hosted by UN Secretary-General Antnio Guterres. Go to Police 26. The conference will focus on how rich countries can reach their long-standing commitment to provide $100 billion per year from public and private sources to help poor countries reduce emissions and combat the impacts of climate disruption.

China is responsible for more than a quarter of global carbon emissions, and despite fast-growing renewable power, it still relies heavily on coal, and despite promises to cut its use, it is still planning new coal-fired power plants. . The International Energy Agency (IEA) has said that if China expands its use of coal, global annual carbon emissions will rise by record amounts next year. He expressed hope that he could. The Paris Agreement was barely reached.

Greenpeace International managing director Jennifer Morgan said China has played a decisive role in Cop26’s hopes for success. The world needs China to move to maintain 1.5C. The actions of China, the world’s largest emitter, are now fundamental decisions by China that have a profound impact on the planet and our future.

Xi Jinping shocked the world a year ago in his speech to the UN General Assembly when he announced that China’s ever-growing carbon emissions would peak before the end of the year and reach zero carbon by 2060. These promises represent a strong improvement over previous plans. , but scientists say it is necessary to keep it within 1.5C.

Morgan is calling for a moratorium on financing offshore coal development to give China a chance to peak carbon emissions by 2025, set a specific timeline for phasing out coal, and give the world a chance to stay within 1.5 degrees Celsius. agreed to the introduction of

Emphasizing the importance of China, the US, UK and EU are all engaged in fanatical diplomacy with their national leaders. This month, climate envoy Joe Bidens, John Kerry, visited Tianjin, followed last week by British Minister Alok Sharma, who will preside over Cop26.

The Guardian understands that these meetings have been positive, but they have not come up with any new concrete action in China. China’s chief climate official, Xie Zhenhua, told Reuters that the meeting with Sharma was candid, in-depth and constructive.

But everyone faces challenges. Diplomatic relations between the United States and China have been exacerbated by trade disputes and human rights and trade issues with the United Kingdom. Moreover, the UK faces certain challenges in its ability to convene other developing countries against China.

Prior to the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement signed by the former climate police, China was reluctant to commit to stronger climate action. It was the last country to maintain a deal between China and India that laid the groundwork for Paris at the 2011 crisis meeting in Durban.

In a dramatic confrontation at a dying hour, the EU brought together a high-ambition coalition of more than 130 developing countries, including some of the poorest and most vulnerable, to push for a resolution. This meant a significant change. Developing countries, which had previously relied on China for leadership, decided that it was in their best interest to avoid a climate collapse rather than clinging to Beijing’s mantle.

Shocked by the defection of its former allies, China finally agreed to sign a pact that led to the Paris Agreement four years later. A former high-ranking diplomat said China hated high-ambition coalitions.

Experts believe the UK should now try to form a similar coalition. But the decision to cut foreign aid has hurt Johnsons invisible to poorer countries, and the failure to secure the long-promised $100 billion a year in climate finance is also a major stumbling block.

“An effective way to put pressure on China is to build a coalition of people China cares about, and the best tool to achieve this is to have the UK have the authority to be one of the largest and most consistent providers of development aid in the world,” Burke said. said . The prime minister sacrificed it and did nothing. He dropped one of his most powerful weapons for delivery from Glasgow.

Experts said that if China tightens its climate plan, it would be the country’s own reasons rather than the result of external solicitations such as the UK or the US. “This is for China’s own benefit, not for the favor that China is offering to Britain,” Morgan said.

Finance is key, said Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Climate Change Institute at the London School of Economics. China takes its role in supporting other developing countries seriously. Wealthy countries are likely waiting for indications from public and private sources that they will keep their promises to mobilize $100 billion a year for developing countries.

The UK understands how important the $100 billion pledge is to Cop26, and the Guardian understands that this will be a key focus of their New York meeting in September. The existence of some of the most vulnerable countries to the climate crisis is also a message to China. With time running out, Britain is gaining momentum on all fronts.

The UK official said: We are finally working hard to achieve $100 billion a year in funding, but there are many wealthy countries that are holding out. We don’t have much time. The reason the UK convened this meeting at UNGA is that Boris Johnson will give weak countries ample space to challenge rich countries. Big emitters need to be left behind, no doubt what the developing world needs to get Cop26 to work.

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2/ https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/sep/10/uk-china-climate-talks-break-impasse-cop26

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