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Menopausal Mother Nature

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Frozen US-China cooperation presents new hitch for global warming – The Straits Times

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – Beijing is freezing its cooperation with Washington on global warming, but experts are hoping that, for the sake of humanity, the cold spell between the world’s two largest emitters is only temporary.

The unraveling relationship comes not long after China and the United States announced a surprise agreement to strengthen climate action at the UN COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in 2021.

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan this week, however, has prompted Beijing to end cooperation with the United States on several key issues.

“It’s obviously worrying and raises concerns,” Alden Meyer, a senior associate at the E3G think tank told Agence France-Presse.

It’s “impossible to address the climate emergency if the world’s number one and number two economies and number one and number two emitters are not taking action,” he said. “And it’s always preferable that they do that in a collaborative way.”

Cooperation between the two countries is essential on all of the world’s “most pressing problems,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ press secretary told reporters on Friday (Aug 5).

Above all, China’s announcement raises questions, including what the consequences will be for the COP27 climate conference in Egypt in November.

“What are the conditions to re-open dialogues? Are these conditions climate or geopolitical?” Greenpeace’s Li Shuo asked on Twitter.

“Is this a tactical move or is it a longer term strategic move?” questioned Meyer. “Is China saying the cooperation is impossible as long as there are tensions between the US and China?”

‘Total disaster’

Earth’s temperature has risen by an average of nearly 1.2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels, multiplying heat waves, droughts, floods and storms on all continents.

However, the mercury could rise by 2.8 degrees Celsius by 2100 even if countries abide by their commitments, according to UN climate experts at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Apart from the US-China spat, commitments have already been weakened by the economic crises stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which notably led to the relaunch of coal-fired power stations.

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