søndag 5. september 2021

Analysis: US-China friction complicates progress on climate

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry came to China this week seeking to press the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases to do more in the global effort to hold down the rise in temperature. What he got was renewed demands for Washington to change its stance toward China on a host of other issues from human rights to Taiwan, the self-governing island that China claims.

The back and forth underscores a divide between the world’s two largest emitters that is complicating chances for a breakthrough agreement on carbon reduction goals at COP26, a United Nations conference to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, in November. Both sides agree that climate is an area of joint interest, but while the U.S. says they should cooperate despite their differences, China says the U.S. cannot expect cooperation while also attacking it on other issues.

“The U.S. side wants the climate change cooperation to be an ‘oasis’ of China-U.S. relations,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Kerry. “However, if the oasis is all surrounded by deserts, then sooner or later, the oasis will be desertified.”