Swiss minister welcomes joint US-China climate declaration

Climate protesters outside the COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 11, 2021. Keystone / Robert Perry

Swiss Environment Minister Simonetta Sommaruga has praised a surprise US-China declaration on climate change made this week at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

This content was published on November 12, 2021 minutes

"If the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases want to work together, that's a good thing," she told reporters in the Scottish city on Thursday. But all countries must work on their climate objectives, she said.

"We need every country to work together," she added.

On Wednesday evening, the United States and China, the world's two largest emitters of carbon dioxide, unveiled a deal to ramp up cooperation tackling climate change, including by cutting methane emissions, phasing out coal consumption and protecting forests. The symbolic deal still lacks details, however.

The announcement recalled Sino-US cooperation in 2014, when officials under Barack Obama and Xi Jinping helped lay the basis for the landmark accord in Paris a year later to cap global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Pressure is mounting as negotiators in Glasgow begin the final day of bargaining over how to stop global warming from becoming catastrophic.

After nearly two weeks of talks, the almost 200 countries represented at COP26 remain at odds over a range of issues - from how rich nations should compensate poor ones for damage caused by climate-driven disasters to how often nations should be required to update their emissions pledges.

A new draft document published on Friday morning weakened the language used in previous texts to address the phasing out of fossil fuels. Delegates are due to wrap up the meeting at 6pm on Friday.

On Thursday Switzerland announced that it was pledging $25 million to fund poor countries' efforts to adapt to climate change.

External Content
In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?