Paris cli­mate deal is ‘ir­re­versible’

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By FU JING in Ham­burg, Ger­many

The lead­ers of G20 mem­bers, ex­cept US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, said on Satur­day that the Paris Cli­mate Change Agree­ment is “ir­re­versible” in the com­mu­nique re­leased at the close of two-day sum­mit in the Ger­man port city.

While Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping re­peat­edly ex­pressed China’s com­mit­ment on global cli­mate co­op­er­a­tion and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment dur­ing his trip to Ger­many from July 4-8, the United States was cited in the G20 fi­nal doc­u­ment as say­ing that it will “im­me­di­ately cease the im­ple­men­ta­tion” of its cur­rent green­house gas re­duc­tion con­tri­bu­tion.

“The lead­ers of other G20 mem­bers state that the Paris Agree­ment is ir­re­versible,” the com­mu­nique said. “We reaf­firm our strong com­mit­ment to the Paris Agree­ment, mov­ing swiftly to­wards its full im­ple­men­ta­tion in ac­cor­dance with the prin­ci­ple of com­mon but dif­fer­en­ti­ated re­spon­si­bil­ity.”

The lead­ers have also urged de­vel­oped coun­tries to ful­fil their com­mit­ment to of­fer fi­nan­cial re­sources to as­sist de­vel­op­ing coun­tries in cop­ing with cli­mate dis­as­ters.

Based on the di­vided stances be­tween the other G20 mem­bers and the US, the lead­ers have agreed on the G20 Ham­burg Cli­mate and En­ergy Ac­tion Plan for Growth.

Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel said at a news con­fer­ence on Satur­day that “the talks were tough” while in­sid­ers said G20 of­fi­cials sought but failed to gain last­minute com­pro­mises from the US.

Trump had last month an­nounced the de­ci­sion to with­draw from the hard-won Paris Agree­ment, which more than 140 coun­tries have al­ready rat­i­fied.

Apart from the Paris Agree­ment, the lead­ers also achieved a wide con­sen­sus on en­ergy co­op­er­a­tion, en­ergy se­cu­rity and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

“Take it or leave it, and no more bar­gain­ing. That is the Ham­burg G20 an­swer to Don­ald Trump’s US with­drawal from the Paris Agree­ment,” said Qi Ye, di­rec­tor of the Brook­ings-Ts­inghua Cen­ter for Pub­lic Pol­icy of Ts­inghua Univer­sity.

Qi said that all but one of the ma­jor economies chose to ful- fill their pledges on the his­toric cli­mate agree­ment and China, the new leader of global cli­mate gov­er­nance, has made it clear that it will de­liver 100 per­cent of its com­mit­ment to the Paris Agree­ment.

“And China will help other de­vel­op­ing coun­tries to mit­i­gate and adapt to cli­mate change through South-South Co­op­er­a­tion by mak­ing the largest fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion ever to the in­ter­na­tional ef­forts,” said Qi.

By giv­ing up the op­por­tu­nity to re­join the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity on cli­mate change, Qi said Pres­i­dent Trump has ef­fec­tively iso­lated the US from the global com­mu­nity, and marginal­ized the coun­try in the cli­mate gov­er­nance. “Now that the de­ci­sions are made, dis­ap­pointed lead­ers and cit­i­zens would no long look up the United States for cli­mate lead­er­ship,” said Qi.

Zhang Jianyu, China rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the New York­based En­vi­ron­ment De­fense or­ga­ni­za­tion, said China has in­jected “huge con­fi­dence” in the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity by strongly com­mit­ting to the Paris Agree­ment de­spite the US de­ci­sion to cease con­tribut­ing to global green­house re­duc­tion.

“What’s more, China’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to set up a na­tional car­bon mar­ket by 2018 will not only help China re­al­ize its cli­mate goals, but also raises hopes in the rest of the world on es­tab­lish­ing a global car­bon mar­ket,” said Zhang.

Den­nis Pam­lin, founder of the Swe­den-based con­sul­tancy 21st Cen­tury Fron­tiers, said that the G20 found it dif­fi­cult to achieve con­sen­sus on cli­mate change due to the US fac­tor, which is very trou­bling.

China will help other de­vel­op­ing coun­tries to mit­i­gate and adapt to cli­mate change...” Qi Ye, di­rec­tor of the Brook­ingsTs­inghua Cen­ter for Pub­lic Pol­icy at Ts­inghua Univer­sity

Con­tact the writer at fu­jing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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