A few months before the COP 26 which will take place in Glasgow in November 2021 and a few days before an international climate summit organized by Joe Biden in the United States on April 22, China and America are starting negotiations.
The meeting which took place today between John Kerry, emissary of the United States for climate affairs, and his Chinese counterpart, on the sidelines of these two events, is of prime importance. Indeed, the two nations consider that the climate is an existential question which is placed above their rivalries. Therefore, they should not prevent progress on this issue and find areas for improvement. The two men have known each other for a long time. They signed the Paris Agreement together in 2015. Despite this, there is still mistrust. Indeed, when China declares to have set up a working group on the climate, the United States hastens to retort that there is, for the moment, nothing formal. For its part, the Biden administration, which sees China as the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, is urging Peking to show stronger signs of commitment.
The April 22 summit will certainly be the occasion for new announcements from both sides. It is a safe bet that the two nations will display reinforced ambitions. China, for example, will ban all new investment in coal at home and abroad. It also intends to propose to advance the CO² cap. In addition, the Chinese envoy took the opportunity to recall that his country invests five times more than the United States in clean energy abroad.
However, Peking did not indulge in more confidences. Even if the two men meet and begin the beginnings of reconciliation, each country remains on guard and awaits concrete actions likely to strengthen, first of all, mutual political trust.
In the end, the two countries are determined to fight against the climate but will remain vigilant not to lose their hegemony in a low carbon economy. And none will accept that the conclusion of agreements is subject to any concessions in other sectors.