US and China agree cautious join steps forward on abating climate change

Reuters: “The United States and China on Tuesday signed eight partnership pacts to cut greenhouse gases that will bring the world’s two biggest carbon emitters closer together on climate policy, but fundamental differences between the two sides remain.”
“Consensus between the United States and China will be a crucial part of any new global climate pact to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, but they have long struggled to come to an agreement on how the costs of cutting greenhouse gases should be distributed among rich and poor nations.
Speaking in Beijing during the latest round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday that the two sides remained committed to “close dialogue” on climate change negotiations.
“The significance of these two nations coming together can’t be understated.  We are working hard to find a solution together that can have an impact on the rest of the world.”
The deals, which involve companies and research bodies, were signed in Beijing ahead of a two-day visit to China by top Obama administration officials, including Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
The signing was attended by Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of China’s influential economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Todd Stern, the lead U.S. climate treaty negotiator at the U.S. State Department, Obama adviser John Podesta and Lee Zak, director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.
In one of the memoranda of understanding (MOUs), China’s Huaneng Clean Energy Research Institute, a subsidiary of state-owned power company China Huaneng and Washington-based Summit Power Group agreed to share information on clean coal power generation technology.
….China has led the way in trying to persuade developed countries to set up financing mechanisms to help poorer nations cut emissions and adapt to climate change.
The issue remains a major stumbling-block in talks on a new global accord, with the United States and others reluctant to commit funds.
Stern, the U.S. climate negotiator, said the United States didn’t disagree with China that there should be a differentiation in responsibilities between developing and developed countries, but that using old definitions for those labels established in 1992 was a sticking point.”