SEOUL (AFP) – China has a “big job” ahead of it in the global fight against climate change, the UN’s environment chief said yesterday.
Since US President Donald Trump’s decision in June to quit the Paris agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Beijing has proclaimed its willingness to stick to the pact.
Analysts say the US move gives China an opportunity to establish its credibility and strengthen its diplomatic clout ahead of future negotiations.
Beijing has repeatedly pledged to reduce its reliance on carbon-belching coal as it seeks to clear the toxic smog from its cities.
But it has also invested heavily in coal projects abroad as part of its Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, prompting accusations it is exporting its pollution to poorer and less developed countries.
Erik Solheim, head of the UN Environment Programme, told AFP the world was in a “transformative phase” from coal to renewable energy and Beijing had a vital role to play.