China criticises Donald Trump’s climate plans

In a rare move, China has commented on the US presidential election, criticising Donald Trump’s threat to back out of the Paris climate agreement if elected.

As reported by the Guardian, the Chinese government is hesitant to comment on foreign elections. But it would seem as though Donald Trump – or at least the prospect of him becoming US president – is turning all convention on its head.

When asked how China would work with a Trump administration on climate change, Xie Zhenhua, China’s top climate change negotiator, told reporters: “I believe a wise political leader should take policy stances that conform with global trends.”

His comment is seen as a rejection of Trump’s threat to back out of the Paris climate agreement.

Xie warned there would be domestic consequences if Trump were to renege on the global climate change pact: “If they resist this trend, I don’t think they’ll win the support of their people, and their country’s economic and social progress will also be affected”.

The Paris climate agreement was negotiated by nearly 200 governments in December 2015. The US and China, the world’s two largest emitters, ratified the agreement together in early September. The global accord will come into force on Friday.

China is moving ahead with a national carbon trading scheme, which it expects to launch in 2017. Pilot programmes have already traded 120 million carbon allowances with total transactions amount to USD 472.29 million, reported the Guardian.

“Once it’s operational, it’ll be the largest carbon trading market in the world,” said Xie.

 

Image credit: UN Photo/Zach Krahmer

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