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China, California sign climate deal after US backs out of Paris agreement

China, California sign climate deal after US backs out of Paris agreement

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The California governor held meetings, including with Chinese President Xi Jinping, where the two pledged to expand trade with emphasis on green technologies.
China and the state of California in the United States have signed an agreement to work together on reducing carbon emissions, after US President Donald Trump backed out of the Paris climate agreement on June 1, reported the Associated Press.

Trump’s announcement to exit the 2015 Paris agreement was called “insane” by California Governor Jerry Brown, who is visiting China this week, reported Reuters.

But on Tuesday, Brown said on the sidelines of a clean energy forum in Beijing that Trump’s decision would only prove to be a “temporary setback”. However, he added that “disaster still looms” for the planet, and that for now, China, European countries and individual US states would fill the gap left by the federal government’s decision.

Brown also held a closed-door meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, said AP, where the two pledged to expand trade between California and China with an emphasis on green technologies. But he claimed that Trump’s announcement of June 1 was not discussed at the meeting. “I don’t think there’s any desire to get into verbal battles with President Trump,” he said.

California has the largest economy of any US state, and the sixth largest in the world. Brown has signed similar collaboration agreements over the past several days with two Chinese provinces, Jiangsu and Sichuan. Like the Paris climate pact, all these agreements are non-binding. They call for investments in low-carbon energy sources, cooperation on climate research and the commercialisation of cleaner technologies, but do not set emission reduction goals.

California, which has among the strictest climate controls in the US, has been at the forefront of the renewable energy sector in the past few years.

China has overtaken the US as the world leader in renewable power development, but is also the world’s largest user of coal, and a top polluter. China has pledged that it would not miss the 2030 target set under the 2015 Paris agreement to reach peak emissions. It has stopped construction of more than 100 new coal-fired power plants and plans to invest at least $360 billion (Rs 23,173 billion approximately) in green energy projects by the end of the decade.

However, Donald Trump had last Wednesday hit out at China, saying it was getting away with a partial deal. “For example, under the [Paris] agreement, China will be able to increase emissions by a staggering number of years – 13. They can do whatever they want for 13 years. Not us,” he had said. Trump also attacked India, saying the country “makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries.”

Source:Reuters
Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network

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