China hasn't given up on US in fight against climate change

Cooperation between the world's two biggest greenhouse gas emitters is vital to stop global temperatures rising to dangerous levels.
Cooperation between the world's two biggest greenhouse gas emitters is vital to stop global temperatures rising to dangerous levels.PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - China hasn't given up on working with the United States to fight climate change, even after the Trump administration exited the Paris climate pact, according to China's former top climate envoy.

Cooperation between the world's two biggest greenhouse gas emitters is vital to stop global temperatures rising to dangerous levels, according to Mr Xie Zhenhua, who was China's top international climate negotiator for more than a decade, starting in 2007.

Even after President Donald Trump signalled an exit from the Paris agreement, China and the US maintained cooperation at local levels and through think tanks and the private sector, Mr Xie said in an interview for the New Economy Forum.

China's biggest oil refiner, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), also put its weight behind the climate fight, with chairman Zhang Yuzhuo saying it plans to make green energy one of its core businesses as it rolls out refuelling stations for cars powered by electricity and hydrogen.

Mr Zhang also spoke at the New Economy Forum, which is organised by Bloomberg Media Group, a division of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

Beijing also took another stab at trying to make its currency more relevant in the global commodity markets it dominates, as the Shanghai International Energy Exchange rolled out a yuan-denominated copper derivative contract.

Existing yuan-priced contracts - such as for iron ore and crude oil - have so far made limited progress in becoming international benchmarks.