Brende said that in his meetings in China recently, the country confirmed that they will stand by their climate commitments, and do so regardless of what other countries do.
‘They will implement what they have committed to. By 2030 at the latest, they will have reduced emissions, and at least 20% of energy will be derived from renewables’, he told NTB news agency.
‘Such a strong signal from China, which along with the United States accounts for the largest amount of carbon emissions, means a lot.’
Brende recalled that China joined the Paris Agreement, as did the other major economies. As a result of the normalisation of relations between Norway and China, this week Brende had an opportunity to meet several of the country’s most powerful politicians.
Both Xie Zhenhua, who for eleven years has been the country’s chief negotiator on climate, and the two central foreign politicians Yang Jiechi and Song Tao, met with him for talks in Beijing.
80 million poor
US President, Donald Trump, has warned that the ‘war on coal’ has ended. He has sown strong seeds of doubt about North America’s climate commitments, and announced strong measures to protect North American industry and North American jobs.
Many people therefore look to China for international leadership.
‘China is keen to preserve the multilateral trading system, and the win-win thinking that has been established, to create growth and jobs’, said Brende.
He said that in meetings with Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Monday, President Xi Jinping announced that China plans to raise the 80 million Chinese people who are still living in poverty, out of this state by 2020.
‘But that presupposes that the force of growth in the global economy continues’, said Brende.
Vice President, Zhao Long, at the think-tank SIIS in Shanghai, said China does not want to be a world leader, but a contributor and partner in cooperation.
‘I do not think China is ready to put on the mantle of a world leader, not only because we are not clear, but also because we do not want such a role’, he said to NTB.
The vice president pointed out that President Xi asks for support for multilateralism and globalization, because China has benefited very well from the development.
‘It is difficult for China to deal with the new US president’, said Zhao, who also believes cooperation between the two economic giants is absolutely necessary in a number of areas, including that of energy.
President Trump made strong accusations against China in the presidential election campaign, but the level of conflict seems to have lowered after he met President Xi in the United States recently.
‘China’s policy is to not interfere in other countries’ internal affairs. It sits deep inside to get them to come to grips with the characteristics of other countries, but they want to lead by demonstrating in their own politics what is important’, said Brende.
’It is important that the leaders of the two largest economies, ‘G2’, have constructive dialogue. Although they do not agree on everything, it’s a very good thing that they are talking’.