China says the US should “take responsibility” for the collapse of climate ties

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s foreign ministry said climate change diplomacy between China and the United States cannot be separated from broader political tensions between the two sides and that Washington should take responsibility for the collapse of the talks.

Nearly 200 countries are about to meet in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt for another round of global climate negotiations, but diplomatic tensions between the two biggest emitters of warming greenhouse gases threaten to overshadow the meeting, known as COP27.

Joint agreements and declarations by Beijing and Washington helped pass the landmark Paris Agreement in 2015, but China suspended all bilateral discussions in August after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, a self-governing island that China claims.

“China and the United States have previously developed good cooperation in the field of climate change, and worked together to reach and enter into force the Paris Agreement,” a State Department spokesman said in a statement late Thursday.

“At the same time, climate cooperation between China and the United States cannot be separated from the broad atmosphere of bilateral relations,” the spokeswoman added, noting that Pelosi’s “serious violation of Chinese sovereignty” in Taiwan left China no choice but to suspend talks. .

The US side should take responsibility for this.

China has not suspended cooperation with other countries, and will continue to support the multilateral climate negotiation process, the spokesperson said, adding that China is “ready to communicate and coordinate with all parties” to ensure the success of COP27.

Experts said expectations ahead of COP27 were already low amid global concerns about energy supplies caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the deterioration in Sino-US relations had lowered those expectations.

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“Cooperation between the United States and China on climate commitments has really helped in the past,” said Frank Gotzo, director of the Center for Climate and Energy Policy at the Australian National University.

“It no longer exists, and there is not a high probability of it appearing again,” he said at a press briefing Thursday.

(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Kim Coogle)

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