A leading Chinese diplomat says the world’s largest carbon producer plans to send a “positive message” at a meeting on climate change convened by US President Joe Biden next week.
But Deputy Foreign Minister Le Yucheng also hinted that China is unlikely to make any new proposal beyond its current commitments on climate change.
“For a large country of 1.4 billion people, these goals are not easy to achieve,” he said in a broad interview with the Associated Press. “Some countries are asking China to do more on climate change. I’m afraid this is not very realistic.”
He spoke while Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry discussed the issue on the second day of closed meetings with Chinese counterparts in Shanghai.
Le said he had no details about those meetings.
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced last year that China would be coal-neutral by 2060 and would peak its emissions by 2030.
Biden invited 40 world leaders, including Xi, to a virtual climate summit on April 22-23. The United States and other countries are expected to announce more ambitious national targets for reducing carbon emissions and promise financial assistance for the climate efforts of less affluent countries.
Le did not say whether Xi would join the summit, but said the “Chinese side is actively studying the matter”.