China‘s decision to halt bilateral talks on climate change with the United States has cast a cloud of doubt over whether the world can rally enough ambition to address global warming in time to avert its worst impacts.

U.S.-China diplomatic tension casts doubt over global climate progress

Tackling climate change has been a key area of cooperation between the two superpowers and two biggest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions.

But China has suspended talks on the issue less than 100 days before the next landmark international climate summit, COP27, as part of its escalating retaliation over U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

“No country should withhold progress on existential transnational issues because of bilateral differences,” said John Kerry, the former U.S. Secretary of State, who is currently the Biden administration’s top climate diplomat.

“Suspending cooperation doesn’t punish the United States – it punishes the world, particularly the developing world,” he said.

Over the last few years, climate change has remained an open avenue for cooperation between the United States and China even as tensions have escalated on other issues like human rights, forced labor, Hong Kong and Taiwan sovereignty, and trade.

U.S. and Chinese officials had started to ramp up engagement on climate issues in the lead-up to the COP27 United Nations climate summit, which takes place in Egypt in November.

Pelosi’s brief visit this week to self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as its own, infuriated Beijing and triggered Chinese military drills on an unprecedented scale in the seas and air around the island.

U.S.-China diplomatic tension casts doubt over global climate progress
2:04 China fires ballistic missiles near Taiwan in large military drills after Pelosi’s visit

China fires ballistic missiles near Taiwan in large military drills after Pelosi’s visit

Previous bilateral engagement on climate change between the two countries helped pave the way for the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, and reignited flailing international climate negotiation in Glasgow in 2021.

With the pivotal climate summit on the horizon and countries backsliding on the emission reduction pledges they made in Glasgow, a lack of engagement between the superpowers could upend negotiations and sap ambition among other countries, analysts said.

“The fear is that the U.S.-China tension can become an excuse for those countries that are unwilling to step up,” said Bernice Lee, executive director of the Centre for Sustainable Resource Economy at Chatham House.

“It is definitely important that the international community — especially vulnerable developing countries – continue making sure that large emitters continue to deliver what they promised,” she said.

John Kerry, the U.S. Special Envoy on Climate Change, often repeated that the U.S. and China could isolate climate change as an area for joint discussion given its global importance without getting entangled in other complex issues.

“By letting geopolitics now be the tail that wags the climate dog, it represents a shift in Beijing’s approach — from seeing the merits of allowing climate to be a standalone ‘oasis’ in the relationship to instead succumbing to those thinking purely through a geopolitical prism,” said Thom Woodroofe, a fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute.

Domestic pressure may force China to continue to address some of its emissions despite the diplomatic chill. China may forge ahead, for example, with a plan to slash its methane, analysts said. Much of its methane emissions derive from coal mines in the huge producer nation.

“There’s a huge effort right now by policymakers in China to come up with a domestic plan to curb methane emissions,” said Joanna Lewis, professor of energy and environment at Georgetown University. “Even if international engagement on this topic comes to a pause, this domestic war on methane is not going to come to a halt because it is very much part of China’s strategic plan to control emissions.”

Other observers say the pause in negotiations may only be temporary and that the U.S. and China have still joined forces even amid years of changing relations.

U.S.-China diplomatic tension casts doubt over global climate progress
2:52 China conducts live fire ballistic missile drills off Taiwan’s coast in response to Pelosi visit

China conducts live fire ballistic missile drills off Taiwan’s coast in response to Pelosi visit

“This has always been an up-and-down relationship,” said Alden Meyer, a senior associate of consultancy E3G. “I think the question here is this a short term tactical move by Beijing to try to get Washington’s attention or is this part of bigger, longer term strategic adjustment by China?”

(Reporting By Valerie Volcovici; additional reporting by Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Alistair Bell)

NEWS RELATED

More than 1,500 people killed in accidents on Mumbai-Goa highway in 10 years

Representational Image, ANI Mumbai: Maharashtra Public Works Department Minister Ravindra Chavan said in the state Assembly on Thursday that more than 1,500 people lost their lives in road accidents on Mumbai-Goa highway between 2012 and 2022. Chavan gave a written reply during a discussion through a calling attention notice ...

View more: More than 1,500 people killed in accidents on Mumbai-Goa highway in 10 years

Sisters' bodies returned to Saudi Arabia as investigation orders second toxicology report

The bodies of two sisters from Saudi Arabia who were found dead in their apartment have been repatriated, as authorities continue to work to establish the cause of their deaths.NSW Police have confirmed that the bodies of Asra Abdullah Alsehli, 24, and Amaal, 23, have been returned to the Kingdom. ...

View more: Sisters' bodies returned to Saudi Arabia as investigation orders second toxicology report

Allowing outsiders to register as voters in Jammu and Kashmir last nail in coffin of democracy: Mehbooba Mufti

Mehbooba Mufti, ANI Srinagar: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday said she has asked National Conference (NC) leader Farooq Abdullah to convene an all-party meeting of Jammu and Kashmir to decide the future course of action with regard to Election Commission allowing outsiders to register as voters in the ...

View more: Allowing outsiders to register as voters in Jammu and Kashmir last nail in coffin of democracy: Mehbooba Mufti

Boat with AK-47s found near Maharashtra coast belongs to an Australian: Devendra Fadnavis

Security has been tightened in Maharashtra's Raigad district after a boat carrying AK-47s were found off the coast on 18 August 2022. News18 New Delhi: Maharashtra’s Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis On Wednesday said that an abandoned boat carrying weapons, that was found near the state’s Raigad district belongs to “an ...

View more: Boat with AK-47s found near Maharashtra coast belongs to an Australian: Devendra Fadnavis

Author Salman Rushdie's attacker says he acted alone, denies connections to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps

Author Salman Rushdie holds up a copy of his controversial book, “The Satanic Verses”. AP File New York:  The 24-year-old man accused of stabbing author Salman Rushdie, whom he loathed for being “disingenuous,” has denied having any connections to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and claimed that he acted alone. After ...

View more: Author Salman Rushdie's attacker says he acted alone, denies connections to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps

Explained: How US-Taiwan plans to boost ties through trade negotiations

The United States and Taiwan announced trade negotiations set for the early autumn. AP Washington: The United States (US) and Taiwan announced on Wednesday objectives for trade negotiations set for the early autumn in another step to boost ties even as tensions soar with China over the self-ruled island. ...

View more: Explained: How US-Taiwan plans to boost ties through trade negotiations

Karnataka Congress a 'united house'; party will fight polls under 'collective leadership': DK Shivakumar

File image of DK Shivakumar. PTI New Delhi: The Karnataka Congress is a “united house” and it will fight the Assembly polls next year on its own under a “collective leadership”, party’s state unit chief DK Shivakumar said on Thursday. In an interview with PTI, Shivakumar said he is ...

View more: Karnataka Congress a 'united house'; party will fight polls under 'collective leadership': DK Shivakumar

I consistently had R Madhavan by my lights for Dhokha Round D Corner says Kookie Gulati

The teaser of Kookie Gulati’s Dhokha Round D Corner was launched at an event yesterday. Along with Kookie’s direction and his ideology of the story, the teaser is already receiving tremendous love and trending all over social media. Speaking about the film Kookie Gulati said, “ Dhokha is a ...

View more: I consistently had R Madhavan by my lights for Dhokha Round D Corner says Kookie Gulati

Ring Android app flaw allowed access to camera recordings

I built a £20,000 treehouse but a neighbour complained and council ordered me tear it down… my kids were in tears

My nosy neighbours sent a letter saying I’d been reported for ANIMAL ABUSE because my cat was sitting on ‘hard ground’

Woman unable to cook in 'wee-soaked and smelly' kitchen as rats keep coming up drains

Waitrose set to close two stores with almost 200 jobs at risk - is one near you?

This Morning fans 'cringe' at Rishi Sunak interview as he fangirls over Andi Peters

Hungover woman finds herself on Google Maps - and gets compared to Ozzy Osborne

'I remortgaged my home to start a business from the spare room - now I've made £1m'

'Ludicrously drunk' waitress bit cop on boozy birthday night out with her mum

Distraught dad vows to 'fight for the truth' over death of girl, 11, at water park

Little Mix's Jade Thirlwall flashes her abs as she celebrates her existence on 'Jade Day'

Unrecognisable Pete Doherty surprises fans with shock gig in Margate

OTHER NEWS