Macron Wraps China Visit With Joint Statement on Climate and Biodiversity
France and China issued a joint statement April 7 reaffirming a shared commitment to act on the climate and biodiversity crises.
The statement came on the last day of French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to China from Wednesday to Friday of last week.
“The joint statement said that climate, biodiversity and combating land degradation are priorities for both China and France,” China’s state media CGTN reported.
In the statement, both nations reaffirmed their commitments to responding with ambitious policies to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Paris Agreement and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, which set the goal of protecting 30 percent of land and water by 2030. They also harkened back to an earlier joint agreement–the Beijing Call for Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change pledged in November of 2019.
“Resolute to make unprecedented efforts to secure the future of the generations, and to step up the global efforts to tackle climate change and to speed up transition towards green and low-carbon and climate-resilient development, we, the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, and the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, meeting in Beijing on 6 November 2019 call on all countries and, when relevant, sub-national authorities, companies, NGOs and citizens to …” the two leaders said at the time, going on to list a series of actions, some of which–like pushing for ambitious action at the COP15 UN Biodiversity Conference in Montreal last December or working for a successful UN High Seas Treaty, achieved this March–have already come to pass. Other asks were repeated as commitments in the newest statement, such as protecting the marine environment, addressing plastic pollution and protecting and managing forests.
“China and France reaffirmed their separate commitments to carbon neutrality and climate neutrality in the statement,” CGTN added of the new document.
Most of the coverage of Macron’s visit has focused on international conflict. Macron had arrived in China with a goal of convincing Xi not to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but instead to help broker peace, as AFP reported.
“I can count on you to bring Russia to its senses and everyone to the negotiating table,” Macron told Xi on Thursday, as AFP reported.
In another joint statement Friday, both countries promised to “support all efforts to restore peace in Ukraine.”
However, Macron has had environmental concerns on his mind from the outset of his visit.
“I am convinced that China has a major role to play in building peace. This is what I have come to discuss, to move forward on. With President XI Jinping, we will also talk about our businesses, the climate and biodiversity, and food security,” he tweeted ahead of his meeting with Xi.
On Wednesday, Macron further said his goal was “working in partnership” with China to combat the climate crisis and including China in a global ocean protection conference that France is planning 2025, as Euronews reported.
CGTV, meanwhile, said that China had been working with the European Union on climate issues since the 1990s.
“With the relationship between the two sides getting deeper and more mature, climate issues have gradually entered the core stage of bilateral cooperation,” CGTV wrote.
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