U.S Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has advocated for stronger cooperation between the US and China on climate financing.
Yellen, who was in Beijing for four days, urged both countries to work together to address the “existential threat” presented by climate change.
she said ‘As the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gasses and the largest investors in renewable energy, we have both a joint responsibility — and ability — to lead the way.’
The US Treasury Secretary stated that their collaboration has resulted in key successes such as the 2015 Paris Agreement. She urged China to embrace existing multilateral climate institutions such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Climate Investment Funds, which she said could help boost global climate finance efforts.
In September, Yellen encouraged China to join the US in contributing to the GCF fund replenishment, with US President Joe Biden promising an additional $1 billion (€910 million).
China, classified as a developing country by the United Nations, has long said it was the responsibility of developed nations to help poor countries pay to address climate change. However, Beijing says it could contribute to loss and damage due to climate change voluntarily.
Yellen said in a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang that it was crucial for Washington and Beijing to closely communicate on global economic and financial affairs. She called for joint efforts to address international challenges, including debt distress.
China briefly suspended talks on the climate last year after Nancy Pelosi, at the time speaker of the House of Representatives, visited Taiwan. Beijing considers the island to be part of its own territory and has tried to isolate the self-governing region on the international stage.
With US envoy John Kerry set to travel to China to discuss working together on climate change according to a US official, talks could resume soon.
Cooperation between the US and China was considered vital to international efforts to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change.