16 July 2018: The EU and China have issued a joint statement underscoring their commitment to step up cooperation to enhance the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change, including through a “firm determination” to work with all stakeholders to tackle climate change, implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and promote low greenhouse gas (GHG) emission, climate-resilient and sustainable development globally.

The statement titled, ‘EU-China Leaders’ Statement on Climate Change and Clean Energy,’ was released at the 20th Summit between the EU and China, which took place in Beijing, China, on 16 July 2018, as part of a broader statement relating to EU-China engagement.

Calling for a “decisive response” to the increasing impacts of climate change, the statement recognizes the increasing stress climate change is exerting on ecosystems and infrastructure, which are “threatening hard-won developmental gains,” pointing to the multiplying effect on social and political fragility of the climate change impacts on water and food, national security and the displacement of people.

In the statement, the EU and China leaders highlight global low GHG emission and climate-resilient development as “irreversible,” calling the Paris Agreement “proof that with shared political will and mutual trust, multilateralism can succeed in building fair and effective solutions to the most critical global problems of our time.”

Collaboration between EU and China on climate change and clean energy will become “a main pillar of their bilateral partnership, including in their economic relations.”

The statement also underscores the co-benefits, noting that stepping up climate action will provide “significant opportunities for modernizing economies, enhancing competitiveness and ensuring socioeconomic benefits of increased clean energy access,” pointing to the rapid entry into force of the Paris Agreement as evidence of the international community’s “unwavering determination to confront this common challenge,” sending a “clear signal to industry and investors”. The leaders note the importance of “upfront collaboration and continued cooperation” in multilateral forums, pointing specifically to the G20 and the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM).

The leaders reiterate their eagerness to work with both the Presidency of the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UNFCCC and the COP 24 Presidency to prepare the ground for completing the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) at COP 24, highlighting their commitment to the development of a “comprehensive negotiating text,” and a “successful, constructive and inclusive 2018 Talanoa Dialogue.” On climate finance, both Parties recall the obligation for developed countries to provide developing countries financial resources for both mitigation and adaptation, encouraging other countries to provide or continue to provide support voluntarily, and the EU reiterates its full commitment to the US$100 billion goal, urging other developed countries to also “stand behind this collective goal.”

The statement underlines that the EU and China will further strengthen their bilateral cooperation in the following areas:

  • long-term low GHG emission development strategies, in which they will cooperate on the development of such strategies through regular technical dialogues, including mitigation and adaptation solutions, capacity building and climate legislation;
  • emissions trading, for which the two countries “strongly welcome” the launch of a new bilateral cooperation project which will further deepen exchanges on their respective experiences with the implementation and development of emissions trading;
  • energy efficiency, aiming to align labeling and performance requirements with international standards;
  • clean energy, in which they highlight large-scale utilization of renewable energy and options to meet the global power demand with “clean and green alternatives”;
  • low-carbon cities cooperation;
  • low-emission transport, for which they agree to launch expert dialogues on fuel economy and CO2 emission standards for light and heavy duty vehicles, including on the deployment of low- and zero-emission vehicles;
  • climate-related technology cooperation;
  • investment in climate and clean energy projects; and
  • cooperation with other developing countries.

The leaders underline their “highest political commitment to the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement in all its aspects,” affirming that collaboration on climate change and clean energy will become “a main pillar of their bilateral partnership, including in their economic relations.” [EU-China Leaders’ Statement on Climate Change and Clean Energy] [European Commission Press Release] [European Council Press Release] [UNFCCC Press Release]