Climate change to be a major talking point at G20 summit

G20 Summit

climate change

As leaders from the G20 nations prepare to travel to Hangzhou, China for the summit, Chinese and U.S. climate negotiators have been meeting in Beijing. Both nations are hoping to show even greater momentum in tackling climate change at the G20 summit, cementing a partnership that has led the world over the issue.

CCTV’s Nathan King has this report.

U.S. top climate negotiator, Brian Deese and China’s Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli meeting ahead of U.S. President Obama’s visit to Beijing on his way to the G20 summit. Both nations aim to implement the Paris climate accord as soon as possible and tackle emissions from air travel and others sources.

It was Vice Premier Zhang who signed the Paris climate accord for China at the United Nations in April but the world may not have gotten there had China and the U.S. not joined forces back in November 2014.

At a ground breaking meeting in Beijing, both president’s Xi and Obama agreed on a joint approach to curbing climate change and both countries made ambitious pledges.

The United States intends to achieve an economy-wide target of reducing its emissions by 26-28 percent below its 2005 level in 2025 and to make best efforts to reduce its emissions by 28percent. China intends to achieve the peaking of CO2 emissions around 2030 and to make best efforts to peak early and intends to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20 percent by 2030.

That momentum helped secure the Paris climate deal last year, the two leading greenhouse gas emitters have since signed the agreement and are set to announce implementation, world leaders traveling to Hangzhou are seeing global push on the issue driven by Beijing and Washington.

“Where the greatest emissions are coming from are the three largest emitters, the United States, the European Union and China. I am extremely encouraged by those three areas, the European Union has been a leader for years, China’s making very bold moves to reduce their carbon emissions, and in the United States the President, Obama, has taken very bold leadership in this country as well,” World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim said.

For China, the G20 meeting comes as the country is set to role out an ambitious carbon trading system which aims to apply market forces to cutting emissions, a big push towards clean coal and renewables means China may actually beat it’s targets. The U.S. too, is pushing many initiatives but has political challenges from politicians who do not recognize the climate change threat.

Evidence of that change can be seen everywhere from the coral in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, to the melting Artic, and perhaps the recent flooding in the U.S. state of Louisiana.

In Washington, D.C., the temperatures this summer have been breaking records. Globally, 2016 may well be the hottest year on record-harsh reminders that even though the world’s two biggest emitters are the two most committed to combatting climate change, it is still a race against time.

Hangzhou using high tech protect city environment

Well from green finance to green living now and Hangzhou has traditionally been known as boasting the beauty of heaven here on Earth. And the city’s authorities have been working hard to make sure Hangzhou lives up to that reputation, by cleaning up the air.

CCTV’s Hu Nan has more.

Clean water and a clear blue sky are a must-have for a city with tourism as a pillar industry.

To clean up the environment, the city’s government has deployed modern technology, for example, replacing diesel buses with electric buses.

Hangzhou has been replacing the buses since 2008. Now 22,000 new energy buses have been deployed on 90 percent of the bus routes in Hangzhou. That puts Hangzhou in the vanguard of green energy transportation development.

Hangzhou is listed as China’s first electric vehicle cities. The increasing number of electric cars might be the signal of the readiness of the consumer for the new technology, which in turn might be the future of China’s urban transportation.

“The local government has issued a five-year plan to promote green energy vehicle development. By 2020, Zhejiang province will have 3 to 5 green energy vehicle enterprises with more than $ 8,980,557,000 annual revenue each,” SAIC-Wanxiang Green Bus Company Manager Lei Rong said.

Air quality control is one of the local government’s top priorities. In 2014, it issued a work plan targeting fumes from coal burning, industrial waste, vehicle emissions and other pollution sources.

“We have different targets for environmental protection every year. For example, in 2016 we have to monitor over 800 projects in five major catagories. The PM2.5 index had decreased to 53.6 micro-grams per cubic meter by the end of July,” Environmental Protection Bureau Director, Chen Jiansong said.

Hangzhou’s crystal clear blue sky is good for tourism, and it’s also a result of the government’s effort to balance environmental protection and city development.

Einar Tangen on how Hongzhou been transformed

For more on Hangzhou and its establishment as a high tech hub, CCTV America’s Karina Huber interviewed current affairs commentator Einar Tangen.