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World Climate Conference: Fossil Phase Out?  America and China are silent

World Climate Conference: Fossil Phase Out? America and China are silent

China and the US, the planet’s two biggest climate sinners, have spoken out in more detail for the first time at the World Climate Conference in Dubai. The two world powers are at odds on many points, but here, for once, they agree – harming the climate.

In his speech at COP28, the chancellor outlined what Germany plans to do to combat the climate crisis. Above all, he wants to get out of fossil fuels decisively.

12/02/2023 | 00:36 minutes


US Vice President Kamala Harris made no mention of the issue in her speech on Saturday. And in a speech by Chinese Vice Premier Ding Xuyang the evening before: The boom is silent.
It’s not a miracle. For example, the United States is now the world’s largest oil producer, while at the same time the largest oil consumer. And China wants to continue relying on climate-damaging coal for decades and not become climate-neutral until 2060. It currently emits nearly a third of all greenhouse gases worldwide.

Climate scientist Niklas Höhne says that while the 1.5 degree target is “tight”, it would be “foolish to give up”. For China, things are moving in the right direction, Hoehne says.

12/01/2023 | 08:37 min


After China, the United States is the world’s largest emitter of climate-damaging greenhouse gases, particularly CO2 and methane. Also: At over 14 tonnes, per capita CO2 emissions are twice that of China. The US government’s annual climate report says greenhouse gas emissions are declining, but not enough to meet national and international climate commitments and targets.

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The bar is relatively high: it wants to produce its electricity without carbon dioxide emissions by 2035 and reduce its emissions to net zero by 2050.

And China? Officially, the country, which operates half of the world’s coal-fired power plants, wants to gradually reduce its emissions from 2030 – which experts say is incompatible with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.

If China’s renewable energy boom continues, things will move very quickly. In mid-November, the Helsinki-based Center for Energy Research and Clean Air (CREA) caused a stir: according to calculations, China’s greenhouse gas emissions could decrease “structurally” as early as next year. Emissions will continue to increase in 2023. At the same time, however, wind and solar energy have expanded at an unprecedented pace.

More nuclear power or more wind power? Or maybe both at the same time? In Dubai, it’s not just about graduation goals. There is also an emotional debate about the right path forward when it comes to climate protection.

12/02/2023 | 02:05 minutes


A big win in the run-up to COP28 is that after a high-level meeting in the US, Washington and Beijing now want to reunite on climate protection. Both governments recently backed the G20’s commitment to triple renewable energy by 2030 over 2020.

However, earlier, in Glasgow in 2021, the superpowers had agreed to cooperate with much fanfare, but this again stalled in view of deteriorating relations.