Asia: Making your rival an ally

Jiangwen Guo, Fei Teng and Qingchen Chao on how China and the West can cooperate on climate change

The World Today Published 1 October 2021 2 minute READ

From the visit to China in April by John Kerry, the US envoy on climate, to the deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman’s talks in Tianjin in July, how to deepen cooperation amid healthy competition has typified the relationship between China and the United States. And this extends to climate action.

China is the largest developing country with a GDP per capita lower than $9,000. There is a long way to go in China’s socio-economic development, in which the move to a low-carbon model has become the strategic pathway. This can be seen in the bolder reduction targets announced last year and its investment in renewable energy and infrastructure under its 14th Five-Year Plan and targets of 2035 vision.

Last September, President Xi Jinping announced at a United Nations meeting on climate change that China would pursue more ambitious targets to cut emissions. China would now work towards reaching peak emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060.

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