China and the United States announced a surprise agreement pledging to work together on slowing global warming after a Wednesday meeting between climate envoys at the Glasgow, Scotland, climate conference.
It was reported the declaration was short on details but suggested two of the world’s largest carbon emitters were willing to engage with final negotiations during the United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26.
U.S. special climate envoy John Kerry said the agreement is “a step we can build on in order to help close the gap.”
“The United States and China have no shortage of differences. But on climate, cooperation is the only way to get this job done.”
Chinese climate envoy Xie Zhenhua said the pledge represented “an area of huge potential for cooperation.”
“The release of this joint statement shows again that cooperation is the only choice for both China and the United States,” Xie said during a news conference. “By working together our two countries can achieve many important things that are beneficial not only to our two countries but the world as a whole.”
CNN reported, though, that China has yet to commit to the Global Methane Pledge, which seeks to cut methane emissions by one-third. The agreement is being pushed by the United States and European Union.
Xie said China plans to develop its own national plan on methane.
Kerry announced that U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping plan to have a virtual summit soon.
Earlier Wednesday, global leaders published a draft of the Glasgow Agreement calling on all countries to end the use of coal and to cut their carbon emissions in half by the end of the decade. The agreement is expected to be the highlight of the COP26, which ends Friday.