US seeks China climate partnership

The United States secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, hopes to enlist China as a partner in US efforts to reduce global warming, the Guardian reported. Making her first trip abroad in her new role, Clinton has arrived in Japan at the start of a seven-day, four-nation tour of Asia that will end in China.


Clinton’s advisers say she believes that creating common ground on climate change — beginning with a possible presidential summit meeting later this year between Barack Obama and Hu Jintao — will help to reshape US ties with China. A partnership between the world’s two biggest polluters would significantly raise the prospects of a global climate-change deal at a crucial United Nations conference (COP15) in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December.


In a policy address in New York over the weekend, Clinton said that climate change “is not just an environmental nor an energy issue, but also has implications for our health, our economy and our security.” Describing China and the United States as natural partners in efforts to reduce global warming, she said: “Our nation has been the largest historic emitter of greenhouse gases and we acknowledge that we must lead efforts to cut harmful emissions and build a lower-carbon economy.”


Together, the two countries account for more than 40% of the planet’s greenhouse-gas emissions.


Clinton’s tour will take her from Japan to Indonesia and South Korea and then to China on February 20 for two days. Economic issues are expected to dominate the agenda.


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