Paris climate accord ‘irreversible’, China, France jointly declare in Beijing
The Paris climate accord is “irreversible” President Xi Jinping and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron said in Beijing on Wednesday soon after Washington announced it was withdrawing from the deal.
Xi and Macron’s decision to put up a united front came in the backdrop of several leading powers expressing concern over President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the accord amid growing international concern on the worsening climate situation.
Xi and Macron reaffirmed “their firm support for the Paris accord which they consider as an irreversible process and a compass for strong action on climate,” in a joint statement.
Speaking at the Great Hall of the People, Macron said he “deplores the choices made by others” without naming any country or leader.
“But I want to look at them as marginal choices,” Macron said.
With the European Union, China, and Russia backing the pact, Macron was quoted as saying that “the isolated choice of one or another is not enough to change the course of the world. It only leads to marginalisation.”
Xi urged the international community to “jointly protect our homeland planet earth”, saying “we are against the attempt to place national interests above the common interests of humanity”.
China and France jointly issued a document titled “Beijing Call for Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change” during the meeting.
It reaffirmed their “…strong commitments to enhance international cooperation on climate change to ensure full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement…”
The document includes a commitment to restoring almost a third of degraded land as well as eliminating fossil fuel subsidies in the medium term.
Macron capped his second visit to China, which started in Shanghai on Monday, with a slew of deals and discussions on trade and the Iranian nuclear issue, with the French leader saying he also raised human rights issues with the Chinese president, the AFP news agency reported.
“The deals include an agreement to protect 200 European and Chinese agricultural products -- whose names are tied to their regions - against counterfeiting, from Champagne to Feta cheese and Panjin rice,” the report added.
Separately, Xi made a veiled reference to the US, which launched a trade war with China last year and has angered Beijing on various diplomatic issues.
“We advocate for mutual respect and equal treatment, and are opposed to the law of the jungle and acts of intimidation,” Xi said.
“We advocate for openness, inclusion and for mutually beneficial cooperation, and are opposed to protectionism and a zero-sum game,” Xi added.