NEW YORK CITY, New York: The United States and China were encouraged to leave aside their differences to help maintain cooperation in combating climate change by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, ahead of the UN COP26 climate change conference next month.
The relationship between the two largest economies in the world is currently at its lowest in decades due to issues, including the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and human rights.
Guterres told reporters, "We understand there are problems in the relations between the U.S. and China, but those should not interfere in their need to do everything possible to ensure COP's success."
During the visit of U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry to China last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi noted climate change is an "oasis" in China-U.S. relations, which could be affected by broader disputes.
After discussing the issue of climate over the phone on Thursday with U.S. President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed that if the "core concerns" of both sides were respected, breakthroughs could still be made in this area.
The COP26 meeting, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, is considered a key opportunity to gain the wider commitments of countries to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, as well as to ensure that the average global temperature increase remains below 2 degrees Celsius for the remainder of this century.
"We need the stronger engagement of the U.S., especially in terms of development financing, and we need China's further efforts to curb emissions. But we are talking about a multilateral process in which all countries must be committed," Guterres added.