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‘We need to talk to China,’ Europe’s climate chief says ahead of COP26


LONDON — International leaders need to talk to China and convince the nation to implement concrete steps toward de-carbonization, the EU’s climate chief told CNBC Tuesday ahead the COP26 climate summit in November.

China said earlier this month it was ending all coal-fired power plant constructions overseas. The nation has also said that it aims to become carbon neutral by 2060 and that it will hit peak emissions by 2030. Officials from Europe want to see these goals go beyond mere words, and that they are followed through with concrete and immediate action.

It is time to examine emissions. Europe is responsible for about 8% of global emissions — we are taking a very, very serious commitment and we are going very far. “The United States is back in the game. They’re responsible, I believe, for around 16% of all global emissions. But we should talk to China. They’re responsible about 28%.” Frans Timmermans (the executive vice president for the European Green Deal) told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick that Frans Timmermans was the European Commission’s executive Vice-President.

Timmermans stated that they need to persuade them to reach a peak before 2030 or substantially earlier and to devise plans to reduce carbon emissions in their economies.

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Ursula von der Leyen (the president of the European Commission), the EU’s executive arm, also shared his view.

It is positive to see President Xi setting goals for China. We call on China to show the same leadership in determining how it will achieve its goals. The world would be relieved if they showed they could peak emissions by mid-decade — and move away from coal at home and abroad,” von der Leyen told European lawmakers earlier this month.

So far, the EU has presented one of its most detailed plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Commission presented earlier this year, in a comprehensive package called “Fit for 55”, how 27 EU member countries can cut their emissions by at most 55% before the end of the decade.

Although the package is still being approved by the European Parliament, the governments of the countries have seen it provide insight into the goals that Brussels has in climate policy. However, the bloc knows that its efforts won’t be successful without international cooperation.

Timmermans said that the 2015 landmark climate agreement would not have occurred if China had not participated in the Paris conference.

They are needed again in Glasgow. “I hope they can be convinced to be bold”, he stated.

The success of the COP26 meeting is uncertain. The COP26 meeting is the first of its kind after the coronavirus pandemic. Many countries are still dealing with the economic and political costs of lockdowns, social restrictions, and other limitations.

Roberto Cingolani is the minister of ecological transition for Italy. He hopes that countries richer than Italy will declare they are increasing their support to other countries in financing carbon transition.

This is the correct way. The next few weeks will prove crucial. With good news, I hope that we will be able to land at COP26 in October. Cingolani stated Tuesday to CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick that we are all moving in the right direction.

Cingolani said that there has been insufficient action by the international community on climate change, and that it was time for people like Greta Thunberg to be heard.

“We must properly respond to this push. It wasn’t enough. “We can do even more,” he stated.