China trying hard on climate

China has agreed to honour its commitments on climate change as the US appears poised to pull out of a key deal.

Speaking on a visit to Germany, Premier Li Keqiang said fighting climate change was in China’s own interest.

“China is counting on other countries to follow its example,’’ Mr Li said.

Paris agreement
US President Donald Trump is due to announce his decision on the 2015 Paris agreement later. Some reports in the US suggest he will withdraw.

“China will continue to implement the promises made in the Paris accord. But of course we also hope to do this with the co-operation of others,” Mr Li said.

“As a big developing country, China had an international responsibility to try to prevent climate change,’’ he added.

Chinese and EU meeting
Chinese and EU leaders are set to agree a joint statement on the Paris climate agreement, saying it is “an imperative more important than ever.”

The joint statement says rising temperatures affect national security and increase social and political fragility while the transition to clean energy creates jobs and economic growth.

Russia also said it would stick to its climate commitments, but said the Paris agreement would be affected by a US pullout.

“It goes without saying that the effectiveness of this convention is likely to be reduced without its key participants,” a Kremlin spokesman said.

Meanwhile British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was “anxious” at the prospect of a US withdrawal but said he believed Mr Trump was “genuinely thinking about the issue”.

Tackling carbon emissions
“Some of the biggest gains in tackling carbon emissions in the US had been made at state level rather than federal level,’’ Johnson added.

Mr Trump’s refusal to commit to the Paris agreement caused frustration at a G7 meeting last week, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel describing the discussion as difficult, not to say dissatisfying.

China overtook the US as the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in 2007.

To date, 147 out of 197 countries have ratified the accord, including the US, where it entered into force last November.

BBC/Mercy Chukwdiebere