China to tackle climate change 'steadfastly'

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But here's the reality: In the Paris agreement, China, for the first time, set a date at which it expects its climate emissions will "peak", or finally begin to taper downward: around 2030.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday in Berlin, agreeing to strengthen cooperation within the framework of the Group of 20 (G20).

Chinese premier Li Keqiang said in Berlin that fighting global warming is a "global consensus" and an "international responsibility".

Last year China invested $88 billion in renewable energy - the highest by any country - as part of a cascading plan.

As Donald Trump walked off the stage in the Rose Garden after announcing the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, one could practically hear the champagne corks popping in Beijing.

Other European leaders issued more explicit appeals to the U.S. government not to abandon global measures against climate change.

While travelling overseas last week, Mr Trump was repeatedly pressed to stay in the deal by European leaders as well as Pope Francis.

Miguel Arias Canete, the EU's energy commissioner, told Reuters the bloc could depend on China despite concerns among environmental groups that monitoring and verification measures in the Paris accord would be weaker without the United States. "We believe our political foundations make an important contribution and I am pleased that all our bureaus in China can be registered and hope they can resume work", she said. With bilateral trade of 170 billion euros previous year, China was Germany's most important trading partner, said Merkel.

"If you don't have a country that emits 28 percent of worldwide emissions (in the accord), you can not be efficient".

Li reaffirmed China's position on climate change as well as other worldwide and regional hotspot issues, and hoped to join Germany in tackling global challenges and contribute to global and regional peace, stability and prosperity.

It pointed out that major players including China, the European Union, and India had expressed their willingness to scale up their role. They promise to "address steel overcapacity at its roots".

The warmer EU-China relationship, partly spurred by Trump, is despite a long-running spat with Beijing on what Europe sees as China's dumping of low-priced goods on European markets.

Still the European Union remains cautious about the direction of its second-largest trading partner, concerned by China's steel exports, its militarization of islands in the South China Sea and a turn toward authoritarianism under Xi.

In a joint draft summit statement AFP saw earlier this week, China and the United States said they would "significantly intensify" their political, technical, economic and scientific cooperation on climate change and clean energy.

The EU also wants an investment treaty with China to open the huge Chinese market to European companies and remove onerous rules forcing them to share know-how.