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German minister says China indispensable to achieve climate goals

By Thomson Reuters Jun 23, 2024 | 2:25 AM

By Maria Martinez

HANGZHOU, China (Reuters) – China is indispensable to achieving global climate goals, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Sunday during a visit to the country.

“Without China it would not be possible to meet the climate targets globally,” Habeck told reporters in the southern city of Hangzhou a day after meeting Chinese officials in the capital Beijing.

Other issues seem to overshadow curbing global warming at the moment but it is a key challenge, so strengthening cooperation with China in this area is necessary, he said.

Chinese officials told Habeck they were expanding coal production for security reasons, the minister said.

“China also imports large amounts of gas and oil and China has already seen what has happened in Europe and Germany in the last two years,” referring to the energy crisis after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Habeck said China must find a safe alternative to coal.

“You don’t have to teach them that CO2 emissions are bad for the climate. They’ve got that,” Habeck said, adding that an alternative should allow them to achieve the same level of security with fewer coal-fired power plants.

During Habeck’s visit to China on Saturday, Chinese and EU officials said they had agreed to start talks on the proposed imposition of tariffs on Chinese-made electric vehicles being imported into the European market.

(Reporting by Maria Martinez in Hangzhou; Editing by William Mallard)