Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) China and the EU traded accusations over failed climate talks at the G20 meeting last week.
Talks in Bali ended last week with the 20 governments failing to reach an agreement on plans to fight climate change, Reuters reports Wednesday.
According to diplomatic sources, China and several other countries were not happy with previously signed climate agreements and wanted to change their wording.
Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President of the European Commission for the European Green Deal, stressed on Monday that “the biggest emitter on this planet” was trying to backtrack on the Glasgow Climate Pact reached at the end of last year.
Referring to China again, he stated that “some of the very, very big players on this planet are trying to roll back from what they had agreed in Glasgow… and some of them, even the biggest emitter on this planet, try and hide behind developing countries in using arguments that I think, at some point, are no longer viable.”
China accounts for roughly one third of greenhouse gas emissions, followed by the US and the EU.
Objection to previous deals
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected the accusation and stressed that the Chinese Communist Party wants an “accurate” interpretation of previous climate agreements.
According to the Paris Agreement adopted in 2015, wealthy countries are to cut their greenhouse gas emissions faster than developing countries and support their developing counterparts to follow suit. The agreement lists China as a developing country.
“As a developing country itself, China has always stood by the vast number of developing countries and firmly safeguarded their common interests,” Beijing stated.
As developed nations failed to subsidise green projects in developing countries, global climate talks are strained. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the EU is the largest climate finance provider.
China previously promised to start lowering its emissions by 2030 and announced plans to continue building coal-fired power plants. In Q1 this year, Beijing approved construction of new coal-fired power plants with total output of 8.63 GW, almost 50% of what it approved in all of 2021.
The EU called on China to start lowering its emissions faster, which Beijing rejected.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that the country is determined to continue its green transition, but pointed out that some EU member states have reversed their policies and started burning more coal to fill the hole left by restrictions on import of Russian gas.
“The green and low-carbon process is now encountering countercurrents,” the Ministry concluded.