As President Trump rolls back climate policies and finance, China’s UN representative makes a detailed pitch for global leadership
In the week before Donald Trump began to roll back Obama-era climate regulations, China’s government made its clearest statement yet that it sees climate action as central to its best interests.
Speaking at a New York event on 23 March, China’s permanent representative at the UN Liu Jieyi said China remained committed to openness and collaboration on climate change, “whatever the vicissitudes of the international situation”.
Under Barack Obama, the US state department expended huge effort and political capital cajoling the Chinese into a bilateral deal that laid the foundations for the Paris accord on climate change.
One of the pillars of that deal was the Clean Power Plan – which mandated emissions reductions in the US energy sector. On Tuesday, Trump signed an order that began rolling back that policy declaring he was “putting an end to the war on coal”.
But Liu’s comments make clear that China now sees climate action as a matter of national interest, independent of US policy. That applies not only at home, but across a range of diplomatic forums.
Read more at This Is China’s Strongest Statement Yet on Climate Action