Category: China (Page 1 of 2)

USA and China make unexpected climate deal at COP26.

The USA and China announced in a joint statement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, that the countries said they had reached an agreement to redouble efforts to fight climate change with “concrete actions”.

They USA and China will work together to achieve the 1.5C temperature goal set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Scientists say that limiting global temperature rises to 1.5C will help humanity avoid the worst climate impacts.

This is compared with pre-industrial temperatures.

The announcement by the two global rivals was made on Wednesday at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, which officially ends on Friday.

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World leaders take major step to restore and protect forests at COP26.

A pivotal pledge to save and restore our planet’s forests was officially announced on the second day of the COP26 World Leaders Summit in Glasgow.

With that deal came a long list of commitments from public and private sector actors to combat climate change, curb biodiversity destruction and hunger, and to protect indigenous peoples’ rights.

A film narrated by Sir David Attenborough played on the screens at the COP26:

By destroying forests, we are harming biodiversity and our lives

Forests provide fresh water, clean the air we breathe, inspire spiritual value, and provide us with food

Our challenge now must be to halt deforestation and beginning to restore forests.

It is a huge undertaking, and every country will need their own table approach.

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson came to the podium to announce that at least 110 countries representing 85 per cent of the planet’s forests had signed the pivotal COP26 Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use, committing to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030.

Protecting our forest is not only a course of action for tackling climate change but also for a more prosperous future,” he said.

Boris Johnson highlighted that China, Russia and Brazil have also joined the promise, which he believed could be also a ‘parallel’ opportunity for job creation.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and well as Brazil’s, Jair Bolsonaro, appeared in a pre-recorded message supporting the pledge, among other leaders absent from the COP.

“Signing the Declaration is the easy part.

It is essential that it is implemented now for people and the planet,” UN chief António Guterres urged on his official twitter account, according UN News.

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Russian President Putin and Chinese Xi Jinping not attending COP26.

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of China Xi Jinping will not attend COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.

COP26 takes place in Scotland’s largest city from 31 October to 12 November.

Russia‘s decision is seen as a blow to efforts to get leaders to negotiate a new deal to stall rising global temperatures.

A Kremlin spokesperson said climate change was an “important” priority for Russia.

Unfortunately, Putin will not fly to Glasgow,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, adding that climate change was “one of our foreign policy’s most important priorities“.

China‘s Xi Jinping will only address the COP26 summit with a written statement.

China’s lack of engagement comes despite its large contribution to global emissions

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China to consider law that would punish parents for their children`s bad behavior.

China‘s parliament will move to consider a law that would punish parents for the crimes or “very bad behavior” of their young children.

The draft bill would shift a portion of blame to parents when their children act up, forcing them to attend family education programs if their child seriously violates school rules.

The legislation also would allow for parents to be punished by authorities if their children committed a crime below the legal age, which is 16 years old for most offenses.

There are many reasons for adolescents to misbehave, and the lack of or inappropriate family education is the major cause,” said Zang Tiewei.

Zang Tiewei is the spokesman of the Legislative Affairs Commission under the National People’s Congress (NPC).

The National People’s Congress Standing Committee will review the draft of the law at a session this week

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UN Secretary-General: sustainable transport key to green energy shift.

With global transport at a crossroads, government leaders, industry experts, and civil society groups are meeting in Beijing, China.

The leaders gather for a UN conference to chart the way forward to a more sustainable future for the sector, and greater climate action overall. 

The three-day UN Sustainable Transport Conference, which opened on Thursday, will examine how transportation can contribute to climate response, economic growth and sustainable development. 

It is taking place just weeks before the COP26 UN climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland

In his remarks to the opening, UN Secretary-General António Guterres underlined what is at stake. 

“The next nine years must see a global shift towards renewable energy. Sustainable transport is central to that transformation,” he said.  

The move to sustainable transport could deliver savings of $70 trillion by 2050, according to the World Bank.   

Better access to roads could help Africa to become self-sufficient in food, and create a regional food market worth $1 trillion by the end of the decade. 

The Paris Agreement aims to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but the door for action is closing, he warned. 

Transport, which accounts for more than one quarter of global greenhouse gases, is key to getting on track.

We must decarbonize all means of transport, in order to get to net-zero emissions by 2050 globally“, according UN News.

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UN chief calls for bold action to end ‘suicidal war with nature’

With more than a million species at risk of extinction, countries must work now to achieve a sustainable future for people and the planet.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres told leaders attending the UN Biodiversity Conference, which opened on Monday from Kunming, China.

“We are losing our suicidal war against nature,” Antonio Guterres said in a video message to the meeting, which is mainly being held virtually.

The UN chief warned that “humanity’s reckless interference with nature” will have permanent consequences

Ecosystem collapse looming 

The rate of species loss is tens to hundreds of times higher than the average of the past 10 million years, and accelerating.

Over a million species of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates are at risk, many within decades,” he said. 

“Ecosystem collapse could cost almost three trillion US dollars annually by 2030.

Its greatest impact will be on some of the poorest and most highly indebted countries,” he added. 

‘Ceasefire’ with nature 

The conference, known as COP15, will develop a global roadmap for the conservation, protection, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems for the next decade. 

COP15 is our chance to call a ceasefire,” said the UN Secretary-General.

Together with COP26 on climate, it should lay the foundations for a permanent peace agreement”, according UN News.

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UN chief Antonio Guterres appeals for countries to sign nuclear test-ban treaty.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday again urged eight key countries which have not yet signed or ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), to do so without delay.

His request came in remarks to the latest conference to promote the treaty’s entry into force, which were delivered by UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu.

Near universal acceptance

The CTBT was adopted in 1996 and has been signed by 185 countries, and ratified by 170 of them, including three nuclear weapons-holding States: France, Russia and the United Kingdom.

However, for the Treaty to enter into force, it must be signed and ratified by 44 specific nuclear technology holder countrieseight of which have yet to ratify the Treaty: China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Pakistan and the United States.

The last Annex 2 State to ratify the Treaty was Indonesia on 6 February 2012.

The UN Secretary-General stated that a prohibition on nuclear testing is an essential element of a nuclear weapons-free world.

The CTBThas created an almost universally adopted norm against the testing of nuclear weapons,” he added.

“Given its necessity and readiness, it is both disappointing and frustrating that the Treaty has not yet entered into force.

We all know the reason for this, the eight remaining Annex II States whose ratifications are required for the Treaty’s entry-into-force,” he said.

“As a result, a critical element of our collective security cannot be fully operationalized.

I repeat my call to these States to sign and ratify the CTBT as soon as possible.

I also call on all other States that have not yet signed or ratified the treaty to do so without delay”, according UN News.

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United Nations Security Council urges Taliban to provide safe passage out of Afghanistan.

The UN Security Council passed a resolution on Monday that calls for the Taliban to facilitate safe passage for people wanting to leave Afghanistan, allow humanitarians to access the country, and uphold human rights, including for women and children.

Thirteen of the 15 ambassadors voted in favour of the resolution, which further demands that Afghanistan not be used as a shelter for terrorism.

Permanent members China and Russia abstained.

Airport attack condemned

Member states condemned in the strongest terms the deadly blasts at Kabul airport on Thursday, which killed more than 150 people and injured upwards of 200 more. 

The terrorist group Islamic State in Khorosan Province claimed responsibility.

The attack targeted people fleeing Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover two weeks ago, and international forces assisting the evacuations.

Thousands of Afghans have been trying to escape from the country ahead of the full withdrawal of the United States by its self-imposed Tuesday deadline, according UN News.

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United Nations climate science talks open amid heatwaves, floods and drought.

Negotiations began on Monday to approve a UN science report which will anchor high level summits later this year, charged with boosting climate action worldwide.

The assessment comes as record-breaking heat waves, devasting floods and drought struck across three continents in recent weeks.

“This report has been prepared in exceptional circumstances, and this is an unprecedented IPCC approval session,” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Chair, Hoesung Lee, told the opening session of the meeting.

The report, Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis, by IPCC Working Group I brings together the latest advances in climate science and multiple lines of evidence to provide an up-to-date physical understanding of the climate system and climate change.

“Assessments and special reports have been foundational to our understanding of climate change, the severe and growing risks it poses throughout the world and the urgent need for action to address it,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, on Monday.

But she warned that the world is at a “climate crossroads” and decisions taken this year would determine whether it will be possible to limit global warming to 1.5°C above the pre-industrial era by the end of the century.

3 degrees looming

“The world is currently on the opposite track, heading for a 3°C rise,” she said. “We need to change course urgently.”

Following the recent deadly flooding in several western European countries, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) called for all nations to do more to hold back climate change-induced disasters.

“Climate change is already very visible.

We don’t have to tell people that it exists,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas told the opening session.

“We are seeing more extreme events.

Heatwaves, drought and the flooding events in Europe and China,” he said. 

“Massive heating” in the Arctic is affecting the atmospheric dynamics in the northern hemisphere, as evidenced by stagnant weather systems and changes in the behaviour of the jet stream, added the WMO chief.

“We have been telling the world that science has spoken and it’s now up to the policymakers for action”, said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee.

The meeting is being held remotely from 26 July to 6 August, with the aim of ensuring that the summary for policymakers is accurate, well-balanced and presents the scientific findings clearly.

Subject to the decisions of the panel, the report will be released on 9 August, just weeks ahead of the UN General Assembly opening, a G20 summit, and the 197-nation COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, according UN News.

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Joe Biden backs Trump rejection of China’s South China Sea claim.

The Biden administration on Sunday upheld a Trump-era rejection of nearly all of China’s significant maritime claims in the South China Sea.

The administration also warned China that any attack on the Philippines in the flashpoint region would draw a U.S. response under a mutual defense treaty.

According AP News the stern message from Secretary of State Antony Blinken came in a statement released ahead of this week’s fifth anniversary of an international tribunal’s ruling in favor of the Philippines, against China’s maritime claims around the Spratly Islands and neighboring reefs and shoals.

China rejects the ruling.

South China Sea

Ahead of the fourth anniversary of the ruling last year, the Trump administration came out in favor of the ruling but also said it regarded as illegitimate virtually all Chinese maritime claims in the South China Sea outside China’s internationally recognized waters.

Sunday’s statement reaffirms that position, which had been laid out by Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.

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