As U.S. retreats, EU and China seek climate leadership at summit


FILE PHOTO: Hundreds of environmentalists arrange their bodies to form a message of hope and peace in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, December 6, 2015, as the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) continues at Le Bourget near the French capital. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

By Robin Emmott and Robert-Jan Bartunek | BRUSSELS Wed May 31, 2017 | 6:13pm EDT

China and the European Union will seek on Friday to save an international pact against climate change that U.S. President Donald Trump appears to be set to pull out of.

As China emerges as Europe’s unlikely global partner on areas from free trade to security, Premier Li Keqiang will meet top EU officials at a summit in Brussels that will also discuss North Korea’s missile tests.

In a statement backed by all 28 EU states, the European Union and China will commit to full implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement, EU and Chinese officials said.

The joint statement, the first between the China and the EU, commits to cutting back on fossil fuels, developing more green technology and helping raise $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poorer countries cut emissions.

“The EU and China consider climate action and the clean energy transition an imperative more important than ever,” the statement, by European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and China’s Li, will say.

“The increasing impacts of climate change require a decisive response.”

China asked that the annual the summit, normally held in mid-July, be brought forward to press home President Xi Jinping’s defense of open trade at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, in response to Trump’s protectionist stance.

But Trump’s plan to follow through on a campaign pledge to withdraw from the Paris accord, agreed on by nearly 200 countries in 2015, is now dominating, diplomats said.

China, which overtook the United States as the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in 2007, is ready to support the European Union, despite tensions on other issues from human rights to trade, according to China’s ambassador to the EU, Yang Yanyi.

“China and the EU need to steadfastly adhere to the Paris agreement,” Yang said in a written briefing to reporters.

The warmer EU-China relationship, partly spurred by Trump, is despite a long-running spat with Beijing on what Europe sees as China’s dumping of low-cost goods on European markets.

“No one should be left behind, but the EU and China have decided to move forward,” Miguel Arias Canete, the European commissioner who has led climate talks with Beijing, said of the Paris accord.

FREE-TRADE FORERUNNER?

While China needs the EU’s technical know-how to fight the pollution blighting its cities, the European Union is looking to Beijing to take action against emissions blamed for increased droughts, rising seas and other affects of climate change.

Still the European Union remains cautious about the direction of its second-largest trading partner, concerned by China’s steel exports, its militarization of islands in the South China Sea and a turn toward authoritarianism under Xi.

EU officials say they will bring up the South China Sea in the talks on Friday, but they will be wary to avoid a repeat of last year’s tense EU-China summit in Beijing, which failed to agree a joint statement because of the maritime issue.

China’s claims in the South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes each year, are contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

The EU also wants an investment treaty with China to open the huge Chinese market to European companies and remove onerous rules forcing them to share know-how.

A senior Chinese official said China is determined to open up and reach a deal, which seen as a forerunner to a possible future free-trade accord.

(Additional reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

Source: Reuters “As U.S. retreats, EU and China seek climate leadership at summit”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

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6 Comments on “As U.S. retreats, EU and China seek climate leadership at summit”

  1. Simon says:

    SCS got nothing to do with EU so EU better mind its language. It is clear China is the senior partner.

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    • Joseph says:

      But according to Reuters everything about China got something to do about the SCS, even if the SCS is not in the agenda. It would hurt Reuters’ ego if they do not mention SCS on something about China. It is something about Reuters as a Western media being ignored by everyone on SCS issue.

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      • alking1957 says:

        This is because Reuters is just a useful idiot for the US Deep State

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      • Simon says:

        SCS is call South China Sea for a reason because it belongs to China. Reuters and many western proganda media failed to menton the SCS and the island of Sprately and Paracels was handed by back to Chinese control after WW2 agreed by all allied forces after WW2. All the other claimants has no legal claims.

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        • Joseph says:

          Still, Western media can cheat a paragraph of SCS and $5 trillion bla bla bla from the article. In some articles, the SCS nonsense paragraph is even longer than the main articles themselves. Really quality Western journalism. Do they not teaching the same English literature craps from Year 1 to Year 12 over and over? Talking about some serious short term memory.

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  2. Steve says:

    China’s leadership can proudly walk with their heads high when dealing with the highly incompetent political leaders of Europe. The problem with EU, there are “too many Indians no Chefs.” Everyone wants to eat and talk, No one can lead.’ When Chancellor Merkel opened her borders to the influx of refugees, the EU refused to share the refugee problems, putting the Schengen zone, supposedly a free border control into a scandal and embarrassment when refugees were extorted by taking jewellery from them and authorities resorted to using teargas and wire control.

    Minus the UK, there are currently 27 member states, just like the three musketeers – one for all and all for one, but the incompetent leaders are sending Europe against a slow and painful death. With multiple political parties within the member states, democracy is making the EU leadership lazy, lacking leadership and faceless. Democracy will send EU to a bottomless pit.

    According to Professor Marlene Wind of political science, Copenhagen university, said that a collaboration such as EU is designed to influence the world constructively. Well, this is her opinion, but China need to tell this ‘lack of leadership’ EU to mind their own business when it comes to the control of SCS and especially ‘authoritarianism’ under President Xi.? China is an Autocracy not democracy. Asian nations don’t need an Asian Union (AU vs EU). Every nation needs wise leadership, examples as in the late Singaporean Leader Lee Kuan Yew and now President Xi of China.

    However, seeking common ground for climate change, pollution, poverty prevention, promoting peace, goodwill and so on are benevolent and charitable.

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