China and UK to strengthen cooperation on climate change

news
18 June 2014

China and the UK have agreed to strengthen cooperation on low carbon policies, technologies and means of financing to fight the effects of climate change.

The two countries have agreed to enhance collaboration for supporting a more effective and cost efficient response to the challenge of achieving a low carbon future.

In a statement released during the visit of Chinese premier Li Keqiang to London, the two governments reaffirmed their joint commitment to work together towards a global framework for ambitious climate change.

The pact said the two countries recognised the imperative for ''ambitious climate change action'', and underlined their commitment to tackle the increasing problem caused by greenhouse gas pollution.

The text of the statement reads, ''The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the People's Republic of China recognise the threat of dangerous climate change as one of the greatest global challenges we face.

"The publication of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirms that climate change is already happening, much of it as a result of human activity. The odds of extreme weather events, which threaten lives and property, have increased. Sea levels are rising, and ice is melting faster than we expected.

"The IPCC's report makes clear that unless we act now the impacts of climate change will worsen in coming decades. In addition, the burning of fossil fuels creates serious air pollution, affecting quality of life for millions. Both sides recognise that climate change and air pollution share many of the same root causes, as well as many of the same solutions. This constitutes an urgent call to action.''

In an acknowledgment of the severe pollution that frequently enveloped many Chinese cities, the statement added, ''In addition, the burning of fossil fuels creates serious air pollution, affecting quality of life for millions. Both sides recognise that climate change and air pollution share many of the same root causes, as well as many of the same solutions.''

According to commentators, China was particularly exposed to shifting climate patterns with much of its agriculture reliant on the regularity of seasonal snowmelt.

Chinese newspapers had in recent days featured reports that said the area of frozen earth on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau had shrunk 16 per cent in the past 30 years due to global warming.

The two countries' ''urgent call to action'' also comes after the launch, earlier this month, of the most ambitious climate action in US history by President Barack Obama.

Some 1,600 fossil-fuel burning power plants would need to cut emissions 30 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.





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