Merkel and Macron see China’s climate goals as positive | Free press

US President Biden has invited to an online climate summit. Before that, Germany, France and the US will coordinate with China, the largest coal consumer – which still has a lot to do.

Berlin / Beijing (dpa) – There is new momentum in diplomatic efforts to protect the climate. Following a video conference with China’s head of state and party Xi Jinping, Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron made positive comments on China’s climate goals on Friday.

The deliberations took place a week before the virtual climate summit, to which the new US president invited Joe Biden this Thursday and Friday. The American climate commissioner John Kerry also held talks in Shanghai with his counterpart Xie Zhenhua.

The US president is hoping for new climate protection commitments at the two-day summit, to which about 40 heads of state or government have been invited. The US and China are the main carbon producers, so their efforts are particularly important. Merkel and Macron were delighted that Xi Jinping had confirmed in their video conference the Chinese goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2060, as Deputy Government Spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said in Berlin.

Both also support China’s approach to adjusting its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in the short term. In addition, both heads of government campaigned for additional concerted efforts to protect biodiversity at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, to be held in the Chinese city of Kunming in October. Other topics of the exchange included the corona pandemic, the global supply of vaccines, issues of economic cooperation and development.

According to a study, China would have to shut down much of its coal-fired power plants and replace them with wind and solar power in this decade to deliver on its climate protection promises. According to the London research group Transitionzero, the carbon dioxide intensity of power generation should be halved by 2030. The switch to clean alternatives will save the equivalent of $ 1.6 trillion in the long run, the authors wrote.

“The short-term investments and political signals related to coal power do not match China’s commitment to neutrality,” said Transitionzero’s research. However, the researchers were convinced that China could reach the target before 2060. “The target will likely prove essential to China’s economic growth prospects.”

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