Interview: China-U.S. Leaders’ Meeting to Boost Global Cooperation on Climate Change, Says WMO Chief

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The recent meeting between the Chinese and U.S. leaders in California will have a positive impact on global efforts to address climate change, head of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has said.

The positive development in interactions between China and the United States is significant, as the two major players have the potential to drive substantial change on the global stage, said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Their commitment to boosting green energy capacity also resembles the cooperative spirit of the Paris Agreement of 2015, he said ahead of the upcoming 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Dubai.

Last week, the WMO released a report warning about the escalating crisis of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Key greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have soared to a record level, Taalas said, stressing that as emissions from industrial activities continue to rise, there is an urgent need for concerted efforts to address and mitigate climate change.

The world now possesses advanced technologies to solve the problem of carbon dioxide emissions, such as shifting to solar and wind energy that are greener and cheaper, Taalas said.

At the same time, as the cost of batteries and electric vehicles is decreasing, more and more car manufacturers have suspended the production of traditional gasoline-based vehicles, he added.

Speaking of China’s investment of substantial resources to increase renewable energy capacity, Taalas said China is already the biggest producer of green energy.

“The country (China) leads in the production of solar technology and plays a significant role in the manufacturing of wind energy technology,” said the WMO chief.

He also noted that China is already the largest producer of electric vehicles globally and the market is evidently expanding.

“Therefore, China can make a significant contribution” to solving the global challenge of climate change, he added. 

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