China will attend the US-led climate change summit on Thursday at the invitation of President Joe Biden. This will be the first meeting between the leaders, Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden since the arrival of the new US administration. Biden has invited leaders from all over the world to join the two-day virtual summit starting on Thursday.
The decision has come after the president brought the US back into the 2015 Paris agreement on cutting Global Carbon emissions. Hua Chunying, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday, that Xi will attend the summit via video conferencing and will be delivering “an important speech”.
Beijing and Washington have consistently clashed over various issues, from Human rights abuses to China’s growing economic influence over other countries.
Only last month, the Chinese and US officials held the first high-level in-person talks that resulted in a clash between the two and yielded no strategic breakthroughs. But the two countries, one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters, have discovered a common interest-Climate Change.
Both countries had agreed on concrete actions in 2020 to reduce greenhouse emissions. The talks also resulted in the resumption of important dialogues that were seized during the Trump administration, who withdrew from the Paris agreement. John Kerry and Xie Zhenua, the two climate envoys, said that they were committed to tackling the climate crisis, even though there exist great differences between the two on multiple issues.
The two countries account for half of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. China has vowed to become a carbon-neutral country 30 years after 2030, the time when the country will reach its peak emissions. On the other hand, Biden is expected to announce new targets for the US on reducing carbon emissions as part of the summit. The carbon emissions have resulted in high temperatures and frequently occurring natural disasters. Beijing has declared that the US ought to take more responsibility for climate change. It also called the US “a truant getting back to class” after US reentry into the Paris Climate Agreement.
According to PRC-backed news agency Xinhua, Xi had joined the virtual climate summit with France and Germany last week, where he said that developed countries had the responsibility of “setting an example” in reducing carbon emissions and meanwhile also support developing countries to tackle climate change.