Climate change action is our business, not for others to mandate, says China, as Washington claims global warming isn’t political

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has warned that it does not need other nations to mandate climate change goals, claiming it’s for China to decide itself after the US climate envoy told Beijing to keep politics out of global warming.

Speaking on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin hit back at the US and its climate envoy, John Kerry, after he told Beijing that global warming was more important than politics. 

Wang said China does not need others to ask it to commit to climate change goals but said this was something it would do itself. “In 2020, China announced the carbon peak, carbon-neutral goal vision and new national contribution goals. We will do what we say,” the spokesman told reporters. 

The spokesman claimed that China’s goals are the most ambitious, as it seeks to go from peak carbon to being carbon neutral in 30 years, in substantially less time than developed nations like the US and Japan. 

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The US should assume its own statutory responsibilities, Wang stated, adding that Beijing hopes Washington will fully cooperate on climate change and promote coordinated efforts on both sides. He said the two nations would achieve more if they adhered to the principles of mutual respect and equality. 

On Thursday, Kerry, who is taking part in talks with Chinese counterparts to find common ground on climate change issues, said global warming “is not ideological, not partisan, and not a geostrategic weapon” as he urged Beijing not to politicize matters. 

The climate envoy was responding to remarks by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi who warned that tension between the two countries could derail dialogue and cooperation on global warming. The two superpowers are hoping to find more common ground on the issue ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow this November.

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