Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 September 2021
Xie Zhenhua shares a perspective from China on the ingredients of the negotiations process that led to the Paris Agreement. As the Special Representative for Climate Change Affairs in the Ministry of Environment and Ecology, Xie had a seat at the table in almost all critical negotiation moments that led to the parties “writing history”. He specifies a “historical, fundamental and indispensable contribution” by China to the Agreement. The Chinese-US cooperation in preparatory talks illustrates this role. Their two joint statements in the year leading up to Paris, covering critical issues such as differentiation and transparency, created further momentum and added to the final text of the Agreement. Xie highlights the intense outreach by the French Presidency and their sincere openness to parties’ concerns, the close China-US collaboration to resolve final blockages at the COP, the active brokering by China with other major countries on finance at the COP, Chinese contributions to the last-minute managing of the “shall-should” incident, and the close coordination of developing country coalitions within BASIC and G77+China.