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China to take the lead at international climate talks, as Trump’s USA has opted out

China to take centre stage at Bonn climate talks amid vacuum left by Trump  https://www.ft.com/content/f6015c21-2ed8-3154-a0b5-3f255c048d3e   OCTOBER 31, 2017 by Emily Feng China is positioning itself to take a lead role at next week’s climate talks as it moves to fill the leadership vacuum left by the US, said the country’s top climate negotiator Tuesday. “To deal with differences in the negotiation process, China will propose its ‘bridge building plan’ at the upcoming summit,” said Xie Zhenhua, China’s climate policy representative, told reporters at a state press conference. Despite previous contributions from the US in combating climate change, “after the establishment of the new government, the announcement to withdraw from the Paris Agreement definitely impacted the international community’s confidence to deal with climate change,” said Mr Xie.

“All other countries have approached the [Paris] process with great confidence and determination. We see this trend as irreversible.” His comments are the latest in China’s move to cast itself as the new leader in the push to slow down the pace of global warming as numerous countries prepare to attend the World Climate Conference in the western German city of Bonn. Once known as one of the most polluted countries in the world, China has stepped up its commitments to combating climate change this year after US president Donald Trump decided to withdraw from the Paris climate accords in June. President Xi Jinping referred to China as a “torchbearer” in environmental protection during a landmark three-hour speech a crucial Communist Party congress in October. “Now the tone from the top has been set straight,” said Greenpeace senior advisor Li Shuo. “China is transforming its domestic energy system and embarking on an ambitious diplomatic mission to drive the global climate agenda.”
China is expected to unveil a national carbon trading scheme next year modeled after the European Union’s carbon marketplace. However, Lin Gao, a climate policymaker at China’s top state planning body, admitted on Tuesday that there were still “problems” that needed to be fixed before the “very complex” scheme could be implemented nationwide. The climate talks in Bonn are set to overlap with President Trump’s visit to Beijing, which begins November 8. Asked whether President Trump and Xi would discuss climate change at Trump’s trip to China next week, Mr Xie told the Financial Times: “That is up to them to decide.”
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November 6, 2017 - Posted by | China, climate change

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