Climate experts fear Aukus will dash hopes of China emissions deal

(The Guardian, 16 Sep 2021) Timing of defence deal, ahead of Cop26 summit where China will be key player, dismays campaigners.

The timing of the new defence deal between the US, UK and Australia has dismayed climate experts, who fear it could have a negative effect on hopes of a deal with China on greenhouse gas emissions ahead of vital UN climate talks.

The Aukus trilateral security partnership has been interpreted as seeking to counterbalance Chinese power in the Asia-Pacific region, and has been likened to a new cold war by China. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson warned the three countries to “respect regional people’s aspiration and do more that is conducive to regional peace and stability and development – otherwise they will only end up hurting their own interests”.

China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, will play a pivotal role at the Cop26 UN climate talks to be held in Glasgow in November. Unless it can bring down its emissions sharply in the next decade, the world stands little chance of limiting global heating to 1.5C, a key aspiration of the Paris agreement. John Kerry, the climate envoy to the US president, Joe Biden, and the UK’s president of the Cop26 talks, Alok Sharma, have both visited China in recent weeks.

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The Guardian, 16 Sep 2021: Climate experts fear Aukus will dash hopes of China emissions deal