Xinhua Commentary: China, EU should take on pioneering roles in global climate cooperation

Source: Xinhua| 2021-04-16 15:19:37|Editor: huaxia

by Xinhua writer Zhang Xin

BEIJING, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Across the planet Earth, polar glaciers are melting away at a faster pace, rising sea levels are eroding shorelines and submerging Pacific islets, bushfires are increasingly rampant, and a multitude of species are at risk of extinction.

Under such adverse circumstances, Chinese President Xi Jinping, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold a virtual meeting Friday on climate change, which testifies to a shared sense of urgency and responsibility to jointly tackle humanity's common existential threat.

China and the European Union (EU) are both major players on the world stage, enjoying extensive common interests and solid foundation for cooperation in this regard. They should and could thus act as pioneers in the world's collective campaign to curb the adverse impact of global warming.

Climate change is now a major highlight in the overall China-EU cooperation though it started relatively late compared with that in other areas like economy and trade.

For the record, Beijing and Brussels have established a partnership on climate change back in 2005. In recent years, their climate cooperation has seen substantial progress in such areas as clean energies, carbon capture technologies and improving global governance. They have also established a series of dialogue mechanisms and maintained communication at different levels.

Climate cooperation has also been included as an important part of a China-EU investment treaty as the two sides have wrapped up a seven-year negotiation process of the agreement late last year.

Looking into the future, China and the EU can continue to build up momentum towards jointly mitigating climate change, and making even greater progress in more areas.

First of all, the two sides can forge tighter links and play a bigger role on the world stage, which entails stronger top-level political will and strategic consensus from all parties concerned.

During previous phone talks with several European leaders, including Merkel and Macron, Xi has repeatedly voiced China's willingness to work with the EU on climate change, stressed the need for green development and called for more dialogues on environment and climate.

The upcoming trilateral climate summit offers a fresh opportunity for Beijing and Brussels to renew their determination to foster their green partnership, and build a cleaner and greener world for the human race.

It is also an important task for the two sides to continue upholding the spirit of multilateralism and improve the global governance on climate change within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

This year will see a number of high-profile and high-stake international occasions on global climate cooperation: the 7th International Union for Conservation of Nature's World Conservation Congress in the French city of Marseilles, the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in the Chinese city of Kunming in October, and the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Britain.

Beijing and Brussels need to step up mutual support and further coordinate their stances so as to push for greater global consensus at those major events.

Also, as China, the EU and other signatories are carrying out the Paris Agreement, it is important for all parties to recognize and follow the principles of equity, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

In terms of pragmatic cooperation, the two sides can explore new areas such as circular economy, renewable energy and low-carbon technology.

In addition, they might equally well help facilitate a green global economic recovery and promote sustainable development in the post-pandemic world by setting standards for green development requirements, including the carbon emissions trading system on global level.

Climate change is such a complicated global challenge that no single country can fix it alone, as well as a problem so pressing that brooks no delay in steadfast collaborations.

As long as China and the EU are determined to pull together, they can always make a positive difference for the general welfare and the long-term subsistence of humanity here on Earth. Enditem