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Work group with US eyes climate plan

Entity aims to implement consensus reached between two heads of state

By Li Menghan | China Daily | Updated: 2024-01-13 06:50
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China and the United States facilitated their Working Group on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s via video link on Friday. The working group was initiated to implement the consensus reached between the two heads of state at the San Francisco meeting last year and strengthen cooperation between China and the US in response to climate change.

The meeting was co-chaired by China's Special Envoy for Climate Change Xie Zhenhua and the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.

Vice-Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission Zhao Chenxin, Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment Zhao Yingmin, Deputy Director of the National Energy Administration Ren Jingdong, Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Energy David Turk, and Assistant Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency Radhika Fox, participated in the meeting as heads of the working group's subcommittees and delivered speeches.

Both sides praised the successful launch of the working group and engaged in in-depth and friendly discussions on key areas of cooperation, including energy transition, methane, the circular economy, and promoting low-carbon provinces, states and cities.

The two sides agreed to maintain close communication, exchange experiences and deepen practical cooperation within the framework of the working group mechanism, in accordance with the consensus outlined in the Sunnylands Statement on Enhancing Cooperation to Address the Climate Crisis.

Released following a meeting between Xie and Kerry from Nov 4 to 7, the statement aimed to pave the way for regular climate communication between the world's two largest economies and carbon emitters.

It proposed to carry out regular dialogue and cooperation to accelerate concrete climate action, share information and experience on policies, measures and technologies for controlling and reducing emissions, and evaluate respective implementation of the statement.

Due to health reasons, Xie, 74, who had been China's top climate representative at 16 rounds of international climate talks, stepped down from his position as China's special envoy for climate change, said a statement released by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment on Friday.

Liu Zhenmin, former vice-minister of foreign affairs and United Nations undersecretary general for the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, has been appointed as Xie's successor.

This means that Liu will be responsible for handling climate change-related affairs and representing China in international cooperation and negotiations. He is expected to continue to promote cooperation between China and the US in the field of climate change.

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