Juncker pledges to work with China on global warming

By FU JING in Brussels | | Updated: 2017-06-15 05:02

Juncker pledges to work with China on global warming

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker chairs a meeting of the EU executive body in Brussels, Belgium May 10, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

Ruling out the possibility of renegotiating the Paris climate agreement, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday pledged that the EU will cooperate with China in tackling global warming despite the US withdrawal from the pact.

Juncker told the European Parliament that implementing the Paris deal was a key topic at his summit meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on June 2.

Hours ahead of the meeting, US President Donald Trump announced that United States would drop out of the Paris agreement, in which his predecessor Barack Obama had put tremendous efforts.

"As the European Union, we will step up our climate diplomacy and collaboration with other partners," said Juncker at a debate on Trump's withdrawal. "For instance, climate action was a key topic of the EU-China summit."

Juncker has said that China, the EU and Canada will be organizing a major conference in September to implement the Paris agreement and accelerate the clean energy transition.

China and the EU have both included deepened cooperation on climate change in their documents on the summit though they had not made public an anticipated joint statement on climate change during the summit.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said last week that while preparing for the summit, the Chinese side acted in a positive, practical and flexible manner and engaged in negotiating a joint statement with the EU on climate change.

"Although negotiation at the working level over the text of the statement was not finished in time, it did not stop China and the EU from reaching consensus and achieving positive outcomes at the summit," she said. "China and the EU have so much consensus on combating climate change that having not released a joint statement won't hamper bilateral cooperation in this regard."

Hua said China stands ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with the EU in such fields as combating climate change, clean energy and green and low-carbon economy and promoting the implementation of the Paris agreement and working for progress on global climate governance.

Juncker also said the EU is disappointed and regrets the decision by Trump, but the abandonment of Paris agreement by the US administration will not mean the end of the accord.

"I am convinced that it will make the rest of the world more united and determined to work towards the full implementation of the Paris Agreement," Juncker said. "The European Union will not renegotiate the Paris agreement. The 29 articles of the agreement must be implemented and not renegotiated."

Juncker said climate action does not need more distractions as the world has spent 20 years negotiating. "Now it is the time for action, now it is the time for implementation," he said.

Juncker said the European Union will be ready to send a clear message on climate change at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, in early July.

"We will work hard to have a clear message coming out of the G20 summit in July – or at least from 19," Juncker said.

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani also said climate change is one the most pressing global challenges that the world faces.

"Simply put, the US administration's decision is a mistake. By working together with nations around the world we can successfully deliver a cleaner and safer planet to our citizens," he said.

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