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EU indicates working with China to keep US tied to Paris climate pact

Updated: 2016-11-12 05:45
By FU JING in Brussels (chinadaily.com.cn)

EU indicates working with China to keep US tied to Paris climate pact

Moroccan security stand guard in front of the entrance of the World Climate Change Conference 2016 (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco, November 9, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

With the election of Donald Trump as the next US president, who has promised to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the European Union indicated on Friday that it will work closely with China to prevent the US from backsliding on its commitment to making the Paris accord effective.

The message was delivered by the European Parliament delegation, consisting of 12 parliament members, before they fly to Marrakech, Morocco to attend the second week of United Nations climate change conference.

The parties which have approved the Paris agreement will embark on their first talks at the conference and Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama have signed three presidential documents to inject special political will in the process of talking and approving the global pact.

Though it is still unknown whether the incoming Trump administration will reject the Paris agreement, during his presidential campaign Trump called global warming a hoax and promised to withdraw from the US from the accord.

"Trump's victory will undoubtedly have severe consequences on the way of tackling climate change at global level," Jo Leinen, vice-chair of the European Parliament delegation told China Daily on Friday in an email. "The EU and China should join forces in Marrakech in order to move forward the Paris agreement."

Leinen predicted that Trump's election risks to "paralyze or even jeopardize the process of ratification and implementation of the Paris agreement."

China and the US approved the agreement shortly before the G20 summit in Hangzhou in September and European Union followed the suit in October. The leading global emitters' approval and ratification have paved the way to ensure that the agreement took effect earlier this month.

Leinen said in Paris, China and the EU played a key role of honest brokers among different "camps" during the negotiations, which contributed to the final conclusion of the ground-breaking agreement.

"And this time in Marrakech, China is expected to line up with the EU," he said. "These two global powers should assume their responsibility by forming a new coalition with the aim of fighting for a progressive global climate policy."

The delegation chair, Giovanni La Via, said in Marrakesh that the 12 parliament members will work on the implementation of the Paris agreement.

"We helped to make it become binding, but it is evident that the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions currently on the table are not sufficient to achieve the objective of limiting climate change to well below 2 degrees", said La Via.

"We shall also work to consolidate the trust between developed and developing countries."

"Marrakesh should send out the signal that the path chosen in Paris is irreversible", said Leinen. "The climate targets need to be achieved step by step in the coming years. The European Union must be an engaged player in this process and act as a broker between the partners of the North and the South."

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