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BRUSSELS, Sept 7 (Reuters) – The European Union and China are questioning each other’s commitment to the fight against climate change, following the failure of the Group of 20 (G20) climate negotiations. ) last week.

At the end of negotiations last week in Bali, Indonesia, the 20 governments failed to agree on a joint statement on climate change. Diplomatic sources said some countries, including China, were unhappy with the language that had already been agreed upon and enshrined in past agreements. Read more

The EU’s climate change chief on Monday accused ‘the biggest emitter on this planet’ – a reference to China – of trying to backtrack on the Glasgow Climate Pact, which ended two weeks of negotiations at the UN in November.

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“Some of the very, very big players on this planet are trying to go back on what they agreed to in Glasgow,” Frans Timmermans said at a meeting in Rotterdam on climate adaptation in Africa.

“And some of them, even the biggest emitter on this planet, are trying to hide behind developing countries using arguments that at some point are no longer viable,” said Timmermans, vice president. executive of the European Commission.

China is responsible for around 30% of annual emissions, making it the world’s largest emitter today, while the US is second and the EU third. The United States, however, is the biggest emitter historically.

China’s Foreign Ministry dismissed the accusation and said Beijing demanded an “accurate” interpretation of past climate agreements.

The 2015 Paris Agreement, for example, committed rich countries – whose emissions are largely responsible for global warming – to cut carbon dioxide emissions as quickly as possible while helping developing countries follow suit. . Under the Paris Agreement, China is defined as a developing country.

“As a developing country itself, China has always stood with the vast number of developing countries and firmly safeguarded their common interests,” a Chinese ministry spokesperson said.

The inability of rich countries to provide promised climate finance has increased tensions in global climate negotiations. The 27-nation EU is the largest provider of climate finance, according to OECD data.

China has pledged to peak emissions by 2030 – a goal that could see its emissions rise in the short term as new coal-fired power plants open. Beijing has resisted calls from Europe to revise that target to cut emissions faster.

The Foreign Ministry said China’s low-carbon transition remained “steadfast” and pointed out that European countries were burning more coal as they raced to replace Russian gas.

“The green and low-carbon process is now running into cross-currents,” the ministry said, referring to the use of European coal.

European policymakers have said the coal hike is a temporary measure and will not thwart climate goals. The EU has set in law its target of reducing net emissions by 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

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Reporting by Kate Abnett in Brussels and David Stanway in Shanghai; Editing by Katy Daigle and Sandra Maler

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