Chinese dictator Xi Jinping will participate on Thursday and Friday of this week in the virtual conference organized by the White House on climate change, the Foreign Ministry of the Asian country confirmed today.
Xi will deliver a “major speech” during this summit of leaders -in which some 40 leaders from around the world will participate- at the invitation of Biden, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement, without giving further details.
As reported this week by The Washington Post, Biden will pledge to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least half by 2030, nearly double the initial target his country took on under the Paris Agreement.
This commitment would be below that of the European Union (EU), which has increased its 2030 emissions reduction target to 55% and will seek carbon neutrality by 2050; and also that of the United Kingdom, which has announced a 78% cut by 2035.
However, the rest of the most polluting countries, such as Russia, India and China, have not committed to specific percentages, although Beijing has stated that it will peak its carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve neutrality by 2060.
U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua pledged last Sunday in Shanghai to “enhance their respective actions” and “cooperate in multilateral processes” to combat climate change.
Both sides expressed confidence that the virtual summit would “enhance global climate ambition to mitigate, adapt and support” the path to COP 26 in Glasgow, to be held November 1-12.
Although Kerry’s visit focused on the fight against climate change, it represented a new public contact between the two superpowers since last March when senior representatives of the two countries met in Alaska in a tense atmosphere and crossed accusations.