China, US spar over climate on Twitter
The two largest producers of greenhouse gases in the world are arguing over climate policy on Twitter, with China raising concerns about the US’s ability to carry out the historic climate legislation that President Joe Biden signed into law this week.
On Wednesday in response, US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns tweeted, using the national flag symbol for “America,” “You can guarantee America will meet our pledges.” He urged China to pick up the stalled climate negotiations, stating, “We’re ready.” The sharp exchange, which was a part of a longer Twitter conversation, is representative of a larger concern: Cooperation between the US and China is largely regarded as essential to the success of international efforts to slow global warming. Some wonder if the two sides can reconcile given the collapse in relations over Taiwan and other concerns.
Burns said on Twitter over the weekend that China should follow the US in combating climate change by making its largest-ever investment. This came after Congress passed the climate bill last Friday. Tuesday night, the Chinese Foreign Ministry tweeted in response, saying: “Good to hear. But the real question is: Will the US deliver?
The verbal altercation started when China, in retaliation for a key American legislator, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, visiting Taiwan, suspended discussions with the US on climate change and a number of other problems earlier this month. One of the few areas where the warring nations have worked together is on the climate. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the move “doesn’t penalise the United States – it harms the world” when US officials criticised China’s action. Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, was asked to comment last week and urged the US to “deliver on its historical obligations and due obligations on climate change and stop seeking around for justifications for its inaction.”
Later, the Min posted a portion of his response, to which Burns replied four days later with a tweet about the US climate law. He concluded by saying, “The PRC should follow+reconsider its suspension of climate cooperation with the US,” using the acronym for the People’s Republic of China.” China expanded on its statement, “Can the US deliver? “message with a second tweet urging the US to fulfil promises made by wealthy nations to aid developing nations in dealing with the financial effects of climate change and eliminate sanctions put in place last year.