U.S. and Japan discuss eliminating China’s “developing country” treatment in pressure for greater emissions reductions

The U.S. and Japan are reportedly planning to discuss calls for Beijing to step up its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at next month’s Group of Seven (G7) summit in the United Kingdom and at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November, without ruling out specific measures to pressure China, including removing the authorities’ preferential treatment as a developing country.

The U.S. and Japan pledged at the launch of their bilateral climate partnership last month to ensure that all major stakeholders would participate in reducing emissions and assume appropriate international obligations and responsibilities. The report said the U.S. and Japan are seeking support from European countries as they believe China, the world’s second-largest economy, should increase its contribution to combating climate change and stop enjoying assistance on climate issues. British Prime Minister Johnson has indicated that he intends to re-examine the operation of the aid, and the EU is also studying the imposition of carbon tariffs on some of the most polluting products.

According to the Paris Climate Agreement signed in 2015, developed countries should provide financial assistance to developing countries to ensure that they can sustain development while reducing emissions. Currently, the UN-backed Green Climate Fund is putting US$100 million (about HK$780 million) in aid to China.