A climate change leader condemned Communist China’s weak environmental commitment on Nov. 13.
COP26 summit president Alok Sharma criticized the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for taking a softer stance on reducing coal consumption. However, Beijing has pushed back.
Once United Nations climate talks ended with a deal targeting fossil fuels for the first time, Sharma demanded that China and India explains why they amended their commitment to “phase-out” fossil fuels.
China, India and other coal-dependent developing nations rejected the wording and changed it to “phase down.”
“In terms of China and India they will, on this particular issue, have to explain themselves,” Sharma said according to Reuters.
The CCP rebuked his criticism, claiming the regime had already made “enormous efforts” to reduce coal consumption. This includes temporarily shutting down businesses to force them into reducing carbon emissions.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian claimed energy transitions should be based on national circumstances, and developing countries’s energy security should be guaranteed.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not mind the difference in wording.
“The direction of travel is pretty much the same,” he said according to the newswire agency.
He claimed the COP26 conference successfully delivered its mandate to reduce coal-powered generation.
However, Johnson admitted he was disappointed the deal did not go further.
“Sadly, that is the nature of diplomacy,” he said. “We can lobby, we can cajole, we can encourage but we cannot force sovereign nations to do what they do not wish to do.”