State Department spokesman Ned Price said Wednesday that the U.S. has “no choice” than to cooperate with China as a partner on climate change.
Daily Caller healthcare reporter Dylan Housman pressed Price on whether the U.S. approach to collaborate with China, a large coal producer, on energy is effective given that President Xi Jinping only mentioned climate change once in his 72-page report to the Communist Party of China (CCP) congress.
“We have no choice but to find ways to cooperate with the PRC when it comes to climate,” he said. “We’ve demonstrated our ability to do so in the past and in fact it was about a year ago at the previous COP where Secretary Kerry and his counterpart announced a joint agreement that helped us make tremendous headway towards our ultimate climate goals.”
“The decision by the PRC over the summer to suspend cooperation on climate for that reason was deeply regrettable, not only because what it represents to the bilateral relationship, one of those areas of shared mutual interest, but it was even more regrettable because of the collective toll that it would take on the international community on the globe,” he continued.
Price emphasized how essential it is for the U.S. and China, the two largest emission producers, “to find ways” to collaborate in lowering emissions in order prevent temperature rises from exceeding 105 degrees. (RELATED: DOD Says China And Climate Change Are ‘Equally Important’ Threats To America)
Housman then asked for Price to clarify if there are no other options than working with China, despite members of Congress calling on the administration to take a more “viable” approach. Price said that working with the PRC is “manifestly” in the interest of the U.S.
“Quick follow up, so you said you have no choice. So those in Congress or elsewhere that wish for you to take a more hawkish approach, you just think that’s not a viable plan at all. There’s no other viable route other than the one that you’re currently taking, you have no other choice,” Housman said.
“I have a hard time conjuring what a hawkish approach to cooperation with the PRC on climate would look like,” Price responded. “This is an area that is manifestly in our interest, it is manifestly in the interest of the PRC. We have demonstrated time and again, including in recent months, the ability of our countries despite massive disagreements, and in some ways that may understate it, but despite massive disagreements, to work together when it comes to climate and we’ve been able to work together on this particular issue precisely because not only is it in our interest, not only is it in the PRC’s interest, it’s in our shared interest and it’s in the interest of the global community.”