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will the two superpowers, the united states and china, agree on the climate issue
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Will the two superpowers, the United States and China, agree on the climate issue?

Will the two superpowers, the United States and China, agree on the climate issue?

US climate change envoy John Kerry arrives in China. He arrived in Beijing on August 2, 2023. During this four-day visit, Kerry will discuss climate issues with various levels of Chinese government officials.

The two superpowers USA and China, are the two most polluting countries in the world. The critical question is whether the two countries can avoid ongoing diplomatic tensions to achieve important climate targets.

The US continues to try to revive the stalled relationship with China. As part of that, Kerry is the latest high-ranking US official to visit Beijing after Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

During the visit, Kerry will meet with China’s special representative on climate change, Xie Zhenhua. The US special envoy will talk to Chinese officials about the COP-28 conference and efforts to address climate change. The UN climate conference is scheduled to be held later this year.

It is expected that specific decisions will come from something other than this meeting between the representatives of the two countries.

However, this meeting is seen as the beginning of a dialogue. They are expected to discuss common challenges in moving towards environmentally friendly renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions.

A review shows that the United States and China are the largest investors in the renewable energy sector. China alone accounts for over half of the world’s renewable energy investment.

University of California energy professor Dan Kamen said the two countries are the world’s largest carbon emitters. The two countries are known as ‘G-2’ regarding energy consumption, consumption, and pollution. He said both countries are taking major steps but cannot curb gas emissions.

Self-contradictory action

The two governments still need help to balance economic growth demands and reduce gas emissions. For this, the two countries have to take contradictory steps, which environmentalists have been criticizing.

Not too long ago, China expressed interest in reducing its dependence on coal-based energy. President Xi Jinping announced carbon control targets in 2020 after boosting environmentally friendly energy infrastructure in previous years.

In Beijing and other cities, the smoggy environment that has been deteriorating year after year has caused widespread panic among the public. In this, the authorities took the initiative to shut down coal-fired power plants and reduce coal production.

But after this decision, load shedding started to increase in the country. At the same time, China’s factories are ramping up production as domestic and global demand in the post-coronavirus pandemic economy rises. Extreme heat and freezing also increase the electricity demand.

China has underscored the importance of energy security. The country reverted to coal-fired power plants. The government considers it relatively reliable compared to wind and solar power. Last year the country also increased its coal production massively.

On the other hand, the United States has recently passed two laws investing billions of dollars in the renewable energy sector. But at the same time, the country has approved one of Alaska’s most significant oil and gas extraction projects in recent years.

What can be discussed?

Kerry will encourage China to use its renewable energy efficiently and meet its carbon control goals faster. Beijing has set a target of 2060 to achieve this goal.

US Treasury Secretary Yellen recently urged Beijing to contribute to the International Climate Fund. Wealthy nations established the fund to assist developing countries facing challenges posed by climate change. Challenges posed by climate change.

Beijing may re-impose US tariffs on Chinese-made solar power equipment as part of a deal on climate change.

China may also reject a US proposal to impose tariffs on foreign-made steel and aluminum based on carbon emissions because it can severely disrupt the country’s exports.

Li Shuo, senior global policy advisor for East Asia at Greenpeace, said that China would not concede to the United States given the current relations between the two countries.

But he told Shai and Kerry should take advantage of this relative lull to keep the bilateral relationship separate from the climate dialogue.

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