At COP26, the United States and China issued a joint declaration committing to cooperate on a variety of climate change issues, including developing regulatory frameworks and environmental standards to reduce greenhouse gases emissions, encouraging decarbonisation and electrification of end-use sectors, and fostering the circular economy.
The Declaration specifically recognised the role that methane emissions play in climate change, and both countries agreed to increase action to reduce methane emissions in the 2020s. Both parties announced their intention to do the following actions:
- Cooperate to enhance measurement of methane emissions, exchange information on policies, and foster joint research into methane reduction strategies;
- Develop additional measures to enhance methane emissions control at the national and subnational levels;
- China to develop a comprehensive National Action Plan on methane, aiming to achieve a significant effect on methane emissions control and reductions in the 2020s (the United States having already released a national Emissions Reduction Action Plan);
- Convene a meeting in the first half of 2022 to focus on specifics of enhancing measurement and mitigation of methane.
The two sides intend to cooperate in the following areas in order to reduce CO2 emissions:
- Policies that support the effective integration of high shares of low-cost intermittent renewable energy;
- Transmission policies that encourage efficient balancing of electricity supply and demand across broad geographies;
- Distributed generation policies that encourage integration of solar, storage, and other clean power solutions closer to electricity users;
- Energy efficiency policies and standards to reduce electricity waste; and
- Deployment and application of technology such as CCUS and direct air capture.
Both countries also recall their respective commitments regarding the elimination of support for unabated international thermal coal power generation.