China, Germany agree to speed up talks on China-EU investment agreement

China, Germany agree to speed up talks on China-EU investment agreement

China, Germany agree to speed up talks on China-EU investment agreement

The European Union and China are assuming joint leadership in the effort to build a low-carbon economy, the EU president said Friday during a trade summit.

The man they call president has just handed a huge global win to Those in Command in Beijing by pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord.

Taking the podium after Pruitt, White House press secretary Sean Spicer also dodged questions about Trump's beliefs regarding climate change.

One of the recurring arguments for the stay in the Paris Climate Agreement was that if we left, we'd be giving up leadership on the global fight against climate change.

European Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said Trump's "announcement [to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement] has galvanized us rather than weakened us, and this vacuum will be filled by new broad committed leadership".

Chief executive Odd Arild Grefstad cited the growth of renewable energy in USA states such as Texas, New York and California as signs that "the world has started the transition from fossil to a renewable economy". His proposed cuts to contributions to the United Nations and to US foreign aid are based on a presumption that only economic and military power count.

It goes on to highlight that the Paris agreement isn't just about preventing the appearance of unstoppable and increasingly powerful climatological disasters.

China and the European Union, two important players on the world stage, enjoy a comprehensive strategic partnership. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany has already announced her plan to hedge her bets, declaring last weekend after meeting Trump that she had realized "the times when we could completely rely on others are, to an extent, over".

SIMON: What do you hear from officials, and maybe non-officials, in Beijing following President Trump's announcement?

But it is the relative power balance with China that absorbs anyone who studies the dance of great powers.

China was long viewed as a major obstacle to a binding global climate deal, especially during 2009 negotiations in Copenhagen, where Beijing insisted advanced industrial nations should bear the bulk of the burden when it comes to cutting CO2. Only three years ago, it was a deal between Obama and Xi that laid the groundwork for what became the broader Paris agreement. "Paris agreement has demonstrated the widest consensus among the global community", Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said. "Instead, we are absenting the field".

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang says fighting climate change is a "global consensus" and an "international responsibility". The EU is China's largest trading partner while China is the EU's second largest trading partner.

The flurry of visits comes as concern grows in traditionally Atlanticist Germany at Trump's forthcoming announcement on the Paris Climate Accord, created to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions scientists blame for rising sea levels and droughts. It is a plan with echoes of the Marshall Plan and other USA efforts at aid and investment, but on a scale with little precedent in modern history.

In fact, China has already been outpacing the USA in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.

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