US-China climate pledge: true or false, good anyway

Barack ObamaThree days ago the United States and China pledged to strengthen cooperation on climate and clean energy. Boom. Enthusiasm everywhere. When the US and China speak there are always consequences. Whatever they say. Often, in spite of what they are saying. In fact, their joint announcement did not add anything crucial to those CO2 reduction targets announced on November 11, 2014.

But when President Xi Jinping echoes Barack Obama’s pledge to tackle climate change with unprecedented determination, it’s automatic to raise hopes in the rest of the world. These two countries are the top greenhouse gases emitting nations in the world if they decide to do something half of the issue could be sorted out. And most of all other will follow their path.

During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent state visit to the US, it was released a China-US joint presidential statement on climate change: ”(The) United States reaffirms its $3 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and China announces that it will make available RMB 20 billion (roughly $3.1 billion) for setting up the China South-South Climate Cooperation Fund to support other developing countries to combat climate change, including to enhance their capacity to access GCF funds”.

Just words? Only time will tell, surely those were well-timed words.

The joint US-China statement will also raise expectations for the next Conference of the Parties (COP) in Paris, whose main ambition is to avoid to be remembered (or forgotten) as Copenhagen in 2009. Much ado about nothing. 

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