China tells Europe to not backslide on climate commitments

China has accused some European nations of a “backswing” in the implementation of urgent climate change goals as geopolitical turmoil grips the continent. Xie Zhenhua,

who leads China’s climate negotiations, told Germany’s Special Climate Envoy Jennifer Morgan that global climate governance was currently facing “multiple challenges and

uncertainties”. “The climate policies of some European countries have shown a backswing, and it is hoped that this is just a temporary stopgap,” he said, according to a

summary of the meeting released by China’s environment ministry. As Western countries raise coal consumption in order to offset gas supply disruptions brought about by the

conflict in Ukraine, China’s foreign ministry said in a statement this month its own green and low-carbon development path remained firm – “in contrast with the European

Union”. Europe has insisted the rise in coal use is only a temporary measure that will have no long-term effect on the EU target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55

percent from 1990 to 2030. China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, is expected to focus on the issue of financing at this year’s global UN climate talks, known as COP27,

which takes place in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt in November. Xie told Morgan that “implementation and action” should be the central theme of the meeting, and said he hoped

industrialised countries would quickly meet their pledge under the Paris Agreement to transfer $100bn a year in climate funds to developing nations.