China, US pledge joint efforts to combat climate change
China and the United States on Thursday reaffirmed their commitment to jointly tackling climate change as the world's two major carbon emitters plan to ink an ambitious climate agreement next month.
According to a joint presidential statement on climate change released in Washington on Thursday, China and the United States will sign the Paris Agreement on April 22, months after the historic pact on climate change was adopted last December during the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) in France.
China and the United States, working together and with others, have played a critical role in crafting the agreement, which was adopted by the 196 Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The agreement sets a target of holding the global average rise in temperature below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and preferably below 1.5 degrees.
The statement said that Beijing and Washington will take their respective domestic steps in order to join the agreement at an early date this year.
The presidents further express their commitment to work together and with others to promote the full implementation of the Paris Agreement to win the fight against the climate threat, the statement said.
The latest sign of a close China-US climate cooperation came as Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to meet with his US counterpart Barack Obama Thursday on the sidelines of the fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.
In September 2015, the two leaders laid out a common vision for the Paris outcome during Xi's visit to Washington and also announced major domestic policy measures and cooperative initiatives to combat climate change, as well as significant progress on climate finance.
Thursday's statement said that China and the United States support a successful G20 Summit in the Chinese city of Hangzhou this year, including strong climate and clean energy outcomes, and call on the G20 countries to engage constructively in international cooperation on energy and climate change.
They also pledged to deepen and broaden the bilateral cooperation through the China-US Climate Change Working Group, the China-US Clean Energy Research Center, and other efforts.