We need more urgency from China on climate promises, says Britain's COP26 president

In a photo taken on Nov 15, 2019, a coal-fired heating complex is seen in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain's COP26 President Alok Sharma said he wanted to see more urgency from China on meeting its own climate promises ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Scotland this November.

"We need the Chinese system to deliver on President Xi's commitments with more urgency," Sharma told a parliamentary committee.

"What is really important in the case of China - indeed every country - is to set out the detailed policies which then lead to the long-term commitments that are being made."

China is aiming to bring its emissions to a peak before 2030 and to become carbon neutral by 2060.

Sharma, an elected lawmaker and member of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's cabinet, said he wanted to hold in-person negotiations with parties to the summit to add political impetus to the process of negotiating its outcomes.

"I want to have, in July, a physical meeting with a representative group of ministers to try and take forward politically some of those key outstanding issues that need political involvement, rather than just leaving it to negotiators," he said.

"I think it is very much the case that very many parties do not want to have a formal negotiations unless we're able to meet physically."

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