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China Undermines COP26, Calls For 2°C Global Warming Target

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China, the world’s largest polluter, has called for less ambitious climate change goals aiming to keep warming to 2C – in opposition to the aims of the Cop26 climate summit.

Xie Zhenhua, Beijing’s climate negotiator, said a 2C target should be the aim and suggested achieving 1.5C was too difficult for many nations.

He warned: “If we only focus on 1.5C, we are destroying consensus and many countries would demand a reopening of the negotiations.”

The Paris agreement, signed in 2015, commits more than 190 countries to keep the rise in mean global temperature to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and “preferably” limiting it to 1.5C.

The UK, EU, US, and others have signed up to the goal of 1.5C, with the UK Government making the aim of COP26 to “keep 1.5C alive”.

But the summit has not secured the necessary commitments from big polluters such as China or funding from major economies such as the US – leaving warming on track for 2.7C.

British Cop26 officials have expressed frustration at a “lack of leadership” from Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, who declined to attend the summit and instead sent a written statement.

Mr. Xie said China had “already been making our biggest possible effort to address climate change”, adding: “So regarding the fact that China is the current largest emitter, it’s because China is at a special development stage.”

He has also been critical of the failure of developed countries to deliver on a pledge of $100 billion in annual climate financing until at least 2024, three years after its deadline.

Read rest at The Telegraph

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