Why China is stepping up against climate change

Posted June 05, 2017

Merkel said Germany and China had similar goals when it came to promoting electric vehicles, but said she wanted to make sure there were good conditions for German automakers in China, saying she was optimistic for a positive solution.

"The fight against climate change, and all the research, innovation and technological progress it will bring, will continue, with or without the U.S.", Tusk said.

Yet Trump also failed to mention other important points: that Western nations are historically much more culpable than developing nations for global carbon emissions, and on a per capita basis continues to be by far the worst offenders.

At the G-7 summit of wealthy nations this weekend, European and Canadian officials warned Trump that the US risked ceding global leadership on combating climate change to China if it withdrew from the pact.

Trump's announcement on Thursday that he would take the United States out of the Paris deal, saying it would undermine the us economy and cost jobs, drew anger and condemnation from world leaders and heads of industry.

"Trump is hiding behind India's poor who, meanwhile, are already making the transition to clean energy that Mr. Trump scorns as unviable", he said. His proposed cuts to contributions to the United Nations and to US foreign aid are based on a presumption that only economic and military power count.

It will take years to determine the long-term effects of his decision to abandon the Paris agreement, to the environment and to the global order.

China and the European Union, two important players on the world stage, enjoy a comprehensive strategic partnership.

SIMON: What do you hear from officials, and maybe non-officials, in Beijing following President Trump's announcement? "Donald Trump renounced the future, not the United States!"

But it is the relative power balance with China that absorbs anyone who studies the dance of great powers.

"We are both ready to contribute to stability in the world", the Chinese premier said.

During Li's visit, China and the European Union are expected to sign several cooperation agreements in trade, logistics, new energy vehicles, education, finance, tourism and SME, said the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

In Europe this week, Premier Li Keqiang appears to be grasping that challenge - or exploiting that vacuum.

"Whether it be fighting climate change, more important today than yesterday, cyber-attacks and worldwide terrorism, or whether it be promoting sustainable development, trade and global economic growth, China and the European Union are aligned on the need for worldwide solutions", he said in his prepared remarks. The EU is China's largest trading partner while China is the EU's second largest trading partner.

Now, with Trump questioning the basis of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the Chinese are hoping that their partnership with Europe on the climate accord may allow that relationship to come to fruition faster than their grand strategy imagined.

Xi announced the sweeping initiative last month, envisioning spending $1 trillion on huge infrastructure projects across Africa, Asia and Europe.