China signs memorandum to address climate impacts in Asia
China has recently signed a memorandum of understanding to investigate the impacts of climate change in central Asia.
The agreement was signed by the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography and 22 scientific research institutes from around the world, including the US, Belgium and Austria. The focus of the research will be on the effects of climate change on the region’s glaciers, water resources and agriculture.
The first phase of the research was conducted in 2012 between China and four other central Asian countries. This latest phase enlists cooperation from research organisations from around the globe.
The move is the latest step in China’s increased international role in tackling climate change, seen by some as a challenge to the leadership gap left when the United States announced it would withdraw from the landmark Paris climate agreement.
Last year, China signed agreements with both Canada and the State of California to cooperate closer on taking stronger climate action.
Canada signed a joint statement in December which committed both countries to leading the transition to a low-carbon economy and recognised that the environment and the economy go hand-in-hand.
At the time, Canada’s Environment Minister, Catherine McKenna, said: “Canada and China have a longstanding history of collaboration on the environment and climate change. We're building on that relationship with the historic joint statement committing our two countries to champion progress on climate change and clean growth internationally and at home”.
Image credit: oarranzli, flickr/Creative Commons