Top polluter China has pledged a USD 3 billion fund to help developing countries combat climate change and announced plans to launch a national emission trading system which will set a price on greenhouse pollution in 2017.
The China South-South Climate Cooperation Fund will also enhance their capacity to access the Green Climate Fund (GCF), according to a China-US joint presidential statement on climate change issued after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s talks with his counterpart Barack Obama in Washington.
Also, the US, which ranks along with China as top carbon emitter reaffirmed its USD 3 billion pledge to the GCF, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
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China and the US recognised the importance of mobilising climate finance to support low-carbon, climate-resilient development in developing countries, particularly the least developed countries, small island developing states and African countries, the statement said.
Xi and Obama reaffirmed determination to implement domestic climate policies, strengthen bilateral coordination and cooperation and to promote sustainable development and the transition to green, low-carbon as well as climate resilient economies.
Xi rounded off his first state visit to the US where he held talks with Obama, toured major corporate headquarters and local schools, and spoke to both political figures and ordinary people from all walks of life.
Earlier China said that it plans to launch a national emission trading system in 2017 to inject new political energy into climate change talks ahead of December’s UN climate summit in Paris.
The trading system will cover power generation, steel, cement, and other key industrial sectors, as well as implement a “green dispatch” system to favour low-carbon sources in the electric grid.
Trials in seven locations began in 2011, but the plan indicated that the creation of a carbon trading market and putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions has become a national-level strategy, experts said.
Yang Fuqiang, a senior adviser on climate change, energy and environment at the National Resources Defence Council, told state-run China Daily that climate change has increasingly become a highlight for China-US cooperation, as the two nations are the world’s largest emitters and need to work more closely for the common good on other core issues besides trade and the economy.
The move is a step forward under the deal reached between leaders of two countries in November, during Obama’s state visit to Beijing.