U.S.-China Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s

2.The United States and China, alarmed by reports including the Working Group I Contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report released on August 9th, 2021, further recognize the seriousness and urgency of the climate crisis. They are committed to tackling it through their respective accelerated actions in the critical decade of the 2020s, as well as through cooperation in multilateral processes, including the UNFCCC process, to avoid catastrophic impacts.

3. The United States and China recall their firm commitment to work together and with other Parties to strengthen implementation of the Paris Agreement. The two sides also recall the Agreement’s aim in accordance with Article 2 to hold the global average temperature increase to well below 2 degrees C and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees C. In that regard, they are committed to pursuing such efforts, including by taking enhanced climate actions that raise ambition in the 2020s in the context of the Paris Agreement, with the aim of keeping the above temperature limit within reach and cooperating to identify and address related challenges and opportunities.

4. Moving forward, the United States and China welcome the significant efforts being made around the world to address the climate crisis. They nevertheless recognize that there remains a significant gap between such efforts, including their aggregate effect, and those that need to be taken to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. The two sides stress the vital importance of closing that gap as soon as possible, particularly through stepped-up efforts.  They declare their intention to work individually, jointly, and with other countries during this decisive decade, in accordance with different national circumstances, to strengthen and accelerate climate action and cooperation aimed at closing the gap, including accelerating the green and low-carbon transition and climate technology innovation.

  1. The two sides are intent on seizing this critical moment to engage in expanded individual and combined efforts to accelerate the transition to a global net zero economy.
  1. The two sides recall their intention to continue discussing, both on the road to COP 26 and beyond, concrete actions in the 2020s to reduce emissions aimed at keeping the Paris Agreement-aligned temperature limit within reach. With that clear purpose, and anticipating that particular forms of cooperation will have the effect of significantly accelerating emission reductions and limitations, including in the form of specific goals, targets, policies, and measures, the two sides intend to engage in the actions and cooperative activities set forth below.
  1. The two sides intend to cooperate on:
      • regulatory frameworks and environmental standards related to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in the 2020s;
      • maximizing the societal benefits of the clean energy transition;
      • policies to encourage decarbonization and electrification of end-use sectors;
      • key areas related to the circular economy, such as green design and renewable resource utilization; and
      • deployment and application of technology such as CCUS and direct air capture.
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8. Recognizing specifically the significant role that emissions of methane play in increasing temperatures, both countries consider increased action to control and reduce such emissions to be a matter of necessity in the 2020s. To this end:

– The two countries intend to cooperate to enhance the measurement of methane emissions; to exchange information on their respective policies and programs for strengthening management and control of methane; and to foster joint research into methane emission reduction challenges and solutions.

– The United States has announced the U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan.

– Taking into account the above cooperation, as appropriate, the two sides intend to do the following before COP 27:

  • They intend to develop additional measures to enhance methane emission control, at both the national and sub-national levels.
  • In addition to its recently communicated NDC, China intends to develop a comprehensive and ambitious National Action Plan on methane, aiming to achieve a significant effect on methane emissions control and reductions in the 2020s.

– The United States and China intend to convene a meeting in the first half of 2022 to focus on the specifics of enhancing measurement and mitigation of methane, including through standards to reduce methane from the fossil and waste sectors, as well as incentives and programs to reduce methane from the agricultural sector.

9. In order to reduce CO2 emissions:

– The two countries intend to cooperate on:

    • Policies that support the effective integration of high shares of low-cost intermittent renewable energy;
    • Transmission policies that encourage efficient balancing of electricity supply and demand across broad geographies;
    • Distributed generation policies that encourage integration of solar, storage, and other clean power solutions closer to electricity users; and
    • Energy efficiency policies and standards to reduce electricity waste.
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– The United States has set a goal to reach 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035.

– China will phase down coal consumption during the 15th Five Year Plan and make best efforts to accelerate this work.

  1. Recognizing that eliminating global illegal deforestation would contribute meaningfully to the effort to reach the Paris goals, the two countries welcome the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use.  The two sides intend to engage collaboratively in support of eliminating global illegal deforestation through effectively enforcing their respective laws on banning illegal imports.
  1. The two sides recall their respective commitments regarding the elimination of support for unabated international thermal coal power generation.
  1. With respect to COP 26, both countries support an ambitious, balanced, and inclusive outcome on mitigation, adaptation, and support. It must send a clear signal that the Parties to the Paris Agreement:
    1. Are committed to tackling the climate crisis by strengthening implementation of the Paris Agreement, reflecting common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances;
    2. Recall the Paris Agreement’s aim to hold the global average temperature increase to well below 2 degrees C and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees C and are committed to pursuing such efforts, including by taking ambitious action during this critical decade to keep the above temperature limit within reach, including as necessary communicating or updating 2030 NDCs and long-term strategies;
    3. Recognize the significance of adaptation in addressing the climate crisis, including further discussion on the global goal on adaptation and promoting its effective implementation, as well as the scaling up of financial and capacity-building support for adaptation in developing countries; and
    4. Resolve to ensure that their collective and individual efforts are informed by, inter alia, the best available science.
  1. Both countries recognize the importance of the commitment made by developed countries to the goal of mobilizing jointly $100b per year by 2020 and annually through 2025 to address the needs of developing countries, in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, and stress the importance of meeting that goal as soon as possible.
  1. Both countries will work cooperatively to complete at COP 26 the implementing arrangements (“rulebook”) for Articles 6 and 13 of the Paris Agreement, as well as common time frames for NDCs.
  1. Both countries intend to communicate 2035 NDCs in 2025.
  1. The two sides intend to establish a “Working Group on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s,” which will meet regularly to address the climate crisis and advance the multilateral process, focusing on enhancing concrete actions in this decade. This may include, inter alia, continued policy and technical exchanges, identification of programs and projects in areas of mutual interest, meetings of governmental and non-governmental experts, facilitating participation by local governments, enterprises, think tanks, academics, and other experts, exchanging updates on their respective national efforts, considering the need for additional efforts, and reviewing the implementation of the Joint Statement and this Joint Declaration.
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