The United States and China, the world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters, have agreed to restart formal climate change talks that had been on hold for more than a year, in a breakthrough that could inject momentum into international climate negotiations that begin later this month in Dubai.
The two countries said they would also step up coordination on curbing methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and work together to speed up a transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
The announcements were made in a joint statement following meetings between U.S. climate envoy John F. Kerry and his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, in Sunnylands, Calif., last week.
China and the United States have pledged to work together more closely to fight global warming, declaring the climate crisis “one of the greatest challenges of our time”, hours before a key meeting in San Francisco between Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
The announcement further fuels hopes the two nations can mend relations following years of turmoil over issues including trade, human rights and the future of Taiwan.
In a joint statement following climate talks in the US, they pledged to make a success of a crucial UN climate summit starting at the end of this month in Dubai.
And they recommitted to the 2015 Paris climate accord goals of holding global warming to “well below” 2C, while pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5C.