China, EU to come closer on climate change despite trade issues

Tensions on trade will not stop the European Commission coming closer to China after the US decided to quit the Paris Climate Agreement, an EU delegate told China Daily in an interview earlier this week.

A formal political declaration would be nice, but a failure to not issue a formal agreement will not hamper the effort to seek collaboration on climate change, said Vicky Pollard, environment and climate counselor of the EU delegation to China.

“The climate change is happening, and both sides are really committed to tackling it and its impacts,” she said. “We see further space to enhance cooperation to push implementation of the Paris agreement forward.”

During the EU-China summit held in June that was shadowed by US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, top EU officials and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang agreed to develop more green technology, but failed to issue a joint statement on climate change.

Disputes such as the EU’s refusal of not granting China market economy status held back issuing a joint declaration on climate change.

Pollard said she was not very concerned about disputes on other matters such as trade.

“We will act and strengthen the ties not only because we feel we need to shoulder responsibilities, but also because we feel that there are many benefits from implementing the agreement,” she said. “Addressing climate change challenges will benefit longer-term development.”

The cornerstone of the partnership has been cooperation to support the establishment of a nationwide emissions trading system, developing green and sustainable energy, the development of low carbon cities, said Pollard.

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