The US and China have released a statement reaffirming “their commitment to work jointly and together with other countries to address the climate crisis.” With the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the US and China invite countries to a Methane and Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases Summit at the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 28). 

The US and China “remain committed to the effective implementation” of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement on climate change, in line with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and in light of different national circumstances and equity, to keep global warming to “well below” 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C, “including efforts to keep [1.5°C] within reach.” 

The two countries acknowledge “the important role they play in terms of both national responses and working together cooperatively to address the goals of the Paris Agreement and promote multilateralism.” They pledge to work together and with other countries “to rise up to one of the greatest challenges of our time for present and future generations of humankind.”

The US and China decide to engage in dialogue and cooperation through the Working Group on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s. According to the statement, the Working Group will focus on energy transition, methane, circular economy and resource efficiency, low-carbon and sustainable provinces/states and cities, and deforestation, among other areas of cooperation. Co-led by the countries’ two special envoys on climate change, the Working Group will conduct information exchange on policies, measures, and technologies to control and reduce emissions, share experiences, and identify and implement cooperative projects.

The statement indicates that both countries’ 2035 NDCs will be economy-wide, include all GHGs, and reflect the reductions aligned with the goal of holding the global average temperature rise to “well below” 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.

Describing the first Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement as a “vital opportunity” to reflect on ambition, implementation, and cooperation, the US and China indicate a Global Stocktake decision should, inter alia:

  • reflect that there has been substantial positive progress toward achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement;
  • take account of equity and be informed by the best available science;
  • reflect that substantially more ambition and implementation on action and support will be needed to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals, recognizing different national circumstances;
  • reflect the critical importance of adaptation;
  • note the expectation of the developed countries that the USD 100 billion goal will be met in 2023; and
  • emphasize the important role of international cooperation.

The ‘Sunnylands Statement on Enhancing Cooperation to Address the Climate Crisis’ was released on 14 November 2023, following the meeting between China’s President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden in Bali, Indonesia, and meetings between US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and China Special Envoy for Climate Change Xie Zhenhua in Beijing, China, from 16-19 July 2023 and at Sunnylands, California, US, from 4-7 November 2023. [US Department of State Press Release] [China’s State Council Information Office Release]