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Kerry announces ‘unique co-operative effort’ with China on climate change

John Kerry in Beijing, China

John Kerry torques an engine bolt during a tour of the Foton Cummins Engine plant in Beijing. Photograph: Evan Vucci /AFP /Getty Images


Powered by article titled “Kerry announces ‘unique co-operative effort’ with China on climate change” was written by Martin Pengelly in New York, for on Saturday 15th February 2014 16.37 UTC

Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday announced a “unique co-operative effort” with China on the issue of combating climate change.

In a press conference at a Beijing car-making factory, the Cummins-Foton Joint-Venture Plant, which he visited as part of an Asia tour, Kerry said he and local representatives had “succeeded in completing our agreement with respect to some steps we are going to take to move the climate change process forward”.

Kerry is scheduled to continue his tour, which started with talks in Seoul at which he heralded China’s stance on North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, with visits to Indonesia and Abu Dhabi.

On Saturday, he continued: “One of the most important challenges that we all face here in China, in America, in Europe and other countries … is how do we improve the quality of the air that we breathe and at the same time reduce the greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change? To be successful, it is going to take the cooperation of China and the United States – not just our governments, but also our industries.”

Kerry said China and the US, the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gas, had a “special role” to play in reducing those emissions, and cited progress made on the issue during vice-president Joe Biden’s visit to Beijing last year.

Earlier this week, a Chinese report said pollution had made Beijing “barely suitable” for living. The report ranked the capital second worst out of 40 global cities for its environmental conditions – behind Moscow. Also this week, the Chinese government announced that it will spend up to 10bn yuan ($1.65bn) to fight air pollution.

In January, overruling opposition from the UK, the European Union pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.

Kerry said: “Last year, when I was here, we joined together with … China’s leaders in what we call the Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Within this dialogue, we have launched five initiatives as part of our Climate Change Working Group.

“I’m very pleased to report today that we have completed implementation plans for those five initiatives on heavy-duty vehicles, on smart grid for the delivery of energy, on carbon capture, utilization and storage, on energy efficiency, and finally on collection and management of data.

“I’m very pleased to also announce today that the leaders of China have agreed to join us in a mutual effort – China and the United States will put an extra effort into exchanging information and discussing policies that will help both of us to be able to develop and lead on the standards that need to be announced next year for the global climate change agreement.

“This is a unique cooperative effort between China and the United States, and we have hopes that it will help to set an example for global leadership and global seriousness on the issue of next year’s climate change negotiation.” © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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