China, France to sign climate agreement


French President Emmanuel Macron and President Xi Jinping will sign a pact that includes wording on the “irreversibility” of the Paris climate accord, an official from the French presidential office said on Tuesday.

The agreement comes after the administration of President Trump said on Monday it filed paperwork to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, the first formal step in a one-year process to exit the global pact to fight climate change.

The move is part of a broader strategy by Trump to reduce red tape on American industry, but comes at a time scientists and many world governments urge rapid action to avoid the worst impacts of global warming.

Speaking to reporters in Shanghai accompanying Macron who is on a state visit to China, a French presidential office official expressed regret at the US move.

“We regret this and this only makes the Franco-Chinese partnership on the climate and biodiversity more necessary,” the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.

“The text that will be signed tomorrow includes a paragraph on the irreversibility of the Paris agreement.”

Macron and Xi are due to hold a formal meeting in Beijing on Wednesday.

Macron is in Shanghai attending a major trade fair, where Xi will give the keynote address.

China and France pledged at this year’s G20 summit to “update” their contributions against climate change beyond their current ones to reflect “their highest possible ambition”.

The 2015 Paris climate agreement encourages countries to make stronger pledges if they are able to do so.

China aims to bring emissions to a peak by “around 2030” and raise the share of non-fossil fuels in its total energy mix to 20 percent by the end of the next decade, up from 15 percent in 2020.

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The United States is the first country to say it will withdraw from the deal, but 10 countries have also failed to ratify it, including Turkey. (Reuters)

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