Janet Yellen Urges China to Boost Funding to Tackle Climate Crisis

Janet Yellen Urges China to Boost Funding to Tackle Climate Crisis – Janet Yellen, the Treasury Secretary of the United States, has called on China to increase its efforts in supporting global climate institutions that play a crucial role in funding environmentally-friendly projects worldwide. Yellen emphasized the need for greater collaboration in tackling the urgent and significant challenge of global warming.

“Climate finance should be targeted efficiently and effectively,” Yellen said on Saturday in Beijing during a meeting with Chinese and international sustainable finance experts. “I believe that if China were to support existing multilateral climate institutions like the Green Climate Fund and the Climate Investment Funds alongside us and other donor governments, we could have a greater impact than we do today.”

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During her four-day visit to Beijing, which followed Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip, Janet Yellen made these remarks in an effort by the United States to ease tensions and emphasize areas of cooperation between the world’s two largest economies. “As the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases and the largest investors in renewable energy, we have both a joint responsibility – and ability – to lead the way,” Yellen said, underlining a key area of cooperation despite difficult bilateral relations.

“Climate change is at the top of the list of global challenges, and the United States and China must work together to address this existential threat,” she said. After Nancy Pelosi, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, visited Taiwan, which is claimed by Beijing, China temporarily suspended climate talks last year.

To underscore the existing tensions, the People’s Liberation Army of China deployed 13 aircraft and six vessels in the airspace and waters near Taiwan within a 24-hour period leading up to early Saturday. However, there are indications that climate discussions may resume in the near future. A US official stated on Friday that John Kerry, the US envoy, is scheduled to travel to China soon to engage in talks about collaborating on climate change.

During a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Friday, Janet Yellen emphasized the importance of close communication between Washington and Beijing on global economic and financial matters, in addition to their collaboration on climate issues. She also highlighted the need for joint efforts in addressing international challenges such as debt distress. On Saturday, apart from engaging with individuals involved in climate finance, Yellen is expected to have discussions with women economists and meet Vice-Premier He Lifeng, a significant Chinese economic official.

According to Lindsay Gorman, a senior fellow for emerging technologies at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a crucial aspect to consider is whether pressing global challenges like debt distress and climate cooperation take priority and receive focused attention. Yellen’s discussions on Saturday follow meetings with US businesses that have expressed various concerns about China. 

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These concerns include fair competition with local businesses, reduced people-to-people exchanges, and uncertainty regarding the business climate in light of a national security crackdown. Improvements in the US-China relationship would not only benefit American companies operating in China but also enhance investment sentiment and create more opportunities for cooperation, as stated by Michael Hart, the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

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