China pledges robust collaboration at COP28 to combat global warming

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Wang Wenbin

29th November 2023 – (Dubai) In the face of escalating global warming, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged for collective action on Monday. This call comes ahead of the COP28 climate conference, set to convene in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), from 30th November to 12th December.

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, underscored the pivotal significance of the upcoming COP28 during a press briefing on Tuesday. This event marks the first global stocktake since the Paris Agreement’s implementation, making it a momentous occasion.

Wang praised the UAE’s leadership in promoting green and low-carbon development as the host of COP28. He further emphasised China’s commitment to support the UAE’s presidency and to utilise the global stocktake to bolster the enforcement of supporting measures, thereby fostering a fair and beneficial global climate governance system.

China’s Vice Premier, Ding Xuexiang, has been invited to represent President Xi Jinping at the COP28 conference. This invitation reflects China’s ongoing efforts to balance development and decarbonisation, demonstrating its firm commitment to tackling climate change.

Notwithstanding the rivalry initiated by the US, both countries are cooperating on the climate front. An upcoming “methane and non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gas summit” co-hosted by China, the US, and the UAE chair at COP28 underscores this cooperation.

China’s proactive response to the climate crisis, including the fulfilment of its carbon-cut promises and active involvement in international collaboration, has won the admiration of observers. They urge the international community, particularly developed nations, to adopt a cooperative approach rather than politicising the issue and disrupting the green energy supply chain.

The impending COP28 conference presents an opportunity for global leaders to break the vicious cycle of accelerated heating, extreme weather, and decreasing ice cover. The UN chief has stressed the need for concerted action, citing the alarming rate of ice melting in Antarctica. The global inventory, a crucial agenda at the conference, could be the catalyst for the international community to prioritize action and cooperation. This would in turn create more favourable conditions for a global response to climate change.

China has been steadfast in implementing its carbon goals, even aiming to reach its carbon peak ahead of 2030. By 2025, China plans to produce 1,200 gigawatts of energy through wind and solar power, thereby reaching its 2030 goal five years early.

China’s efforts to mitigate climate change have not only boosted the country’s green and low-carbon development but also made significant contributions to the global climate change response. As the leading provider of solar capacity globally, China has been instrumental in bolstering the green development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with its global partners.

However, analysts caution that any new clean-energy goal proposed at COP28 must take into account China’s realities and capabilities. Effective coordination between addressing climate change, poverty eradication, energy security, job creation, and economic development should be promoted.

Critics from the West who question China’s development of coal energy have been refuted by China’s commitment to action over rhetoric. As the world’s second-largest economy, China has to choose between greener energy or shortage. Therefore, its focus is on optimizing the use of fossil fuels and enhancing the development of clean energy.