A leaked joint communiqué between the world’s second and third biggest economies has vowed to deepen their cooperation on climate change.
The document was leaked in the days before president Donald Trump makes a pivotal announcement on the future of US involvement in the Paris accord. The drafting took place over eight months, with the first round of negotiations taking place at the Marrakech climate talks in November last year – during which Trump was elected.
It won the approval of the 28 EU member states on the 22 May.
China’s premier Li Keqiang and the presidents of the European Council and European Commission Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker will meet in Brussels on Friday. They are expected to release the joint statement at the summit.
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The document confirms their commitment to the Paris accord and to “significantly intensify their political, technical, economic and scientific cooperation on climate change and clean energy”.
The two powers are seen as the only viable diplomatic alternative to US leadership as the world wrangles over how to build on its commitments to the Paris accord – which are currently not enough to stave off dangerous climate change.
.@realDonaldTrump please don't change the (political) climate for the worse.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) June 1, 2017
They pledged to work with all parties under the UN climate convention to implement the Paris agreement and mobilise $100bn every year of money promised to developing countries to help cope with climate change.
The cooperation between the two nations marks a turning point in the power structures that surround climate negotiations – and global diplomacy.
Just three years ago, the US and China signed a pivotal bilateral deal that made the Paris agreement possible. Trump is widely expected to leave the deal on Thursday afternoon and has generally shunned global cooperation.