EU Leaders Urge China to Adopt Tough Climate-Change Goals

30 Jun 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

EU Leaders Urge China to Adopt Tough Climate-Change Goals.

BRUSSELS—European Union leaders Monday urged China to adopt tough climate-change goals as they and other nations head toward a critical climate conference in Paris at year’s end. “Our intention is to cut emission by 40% compared with 1990, and I would strongly welcome China to take on its shoulders commitments to have the same ambition” or something similar, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said at an EU-China summit. He spoke as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stood beside him at a rare joint news conference. “Climate change is an important matter for the entire humankind, and both China and Europe have to bear particular responsibility in that respect,” Mr.

Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, said the world’s goal should be to keep the Earth’s average temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius compared with preindustrial levels, an aspiration reaffirmed earlier this month by the Group of Seven industrialized democracies. Li said China would do its part and submit a plan by the end of Tuesday, though in the past Western leaders have seen China as reluctant. “We are willing to work together with the EU side to jointly tackle the challenges posed by climate change,” Mr. The two sides agreed to push ahead on a deal to protect foreign investment on their respective territories, though disagreements remain on the details.

China and the EU have been negotiating since early 2014 on a broad investment treaty; the EU also wants the deal to provide European companies with less restrictive access to Chinese markets. Finalizing the investment deal, the statement said, would show “their willingness to envisage broader ambitions including, once the conditions are right” a free-trade agreement. The EU expressed interest in China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, a network of pipelines, railways and other projects extending into Europe and Africa. Amnesty International said the country’s human rights situation has been getting worse. “The European Union has committed to putting human rights at the forefront of all of its external relations,” said Katharine Derderian, Amnesty’s specialist on EU foreign policy. “If the Union is truly to show true leadership and be a credible actor on human rights, there can be no exceptions, no special cases.” Mr. Tusk addressed this during the summit. “I expressed our concerns on freedom of expression and association in China, including the situation of the persons belonging to minorities,” he said. “I have encouraged China to resume a meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama’s representatives.” On economic issues, China-Europe ties also could be bolstered by the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a new institution that could emerge as an alternative to the World Bank.

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