EU plots climate deal with China

(Climate Change News, 11 Nov 2019) European leaders hope to strike a bargain with Beijing next September. What the EU can offer China to bring down its emissions is unclear.

As the Trump administration formally notified the UN of the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement last week, French president Emmanuel Macron was heading to China, plotting to ramp up the climate ambition of the world’s largest emitter.  

Macron’s three-day state visit was part of a strategic rapprochement between Europe and Beijing ahead of an exceptional EU-China summit with the 27 EU heads-of-state and president Xi in September 2020.

The summit is poised as a crucial give-and-take moment for the two powers to broker a bilateral agreement on climate change – something only the US has previously achieved with China in 2014 in a deal that underpinned the Paris Agreement.

Now, with the US officially exiting the Paris regime, the EU hopes to start a race to the top with China, ensuring global efforts to cut emissions remain meaningful even without the US on board.

“Our aim is to lure China into the best possible announcement they can make about an upgrade of their ambition,” a senior EU official told Climate Home News. “We know that they are thinking about it and we also know that they will look for an occasion. In the global efforts of increasing ambition, the EU alone is clearly not enough but EU-China together puts things in a better place. If we get China, the rest of Asia will follow.”

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Climate Change News, 11 Nov 2019: EU plots climate deal with China