No landmark climate change deal will be signed by China and the US and China during US President Barack Obama’s visit to Beijing in November, according to Todd Stern, America’s climate change envoy. Stern said the aim was to develop “a common understanding” on climate change issues and deepen cooperation on clean energy, not to reach an agreement on carbon emissions targets, the Financial Times reported. There has been concern in Europe that China and the US would sign a bilateral accord and then try to impose it on other countries at December’s Copenhagen climate change summit. Earlier in the year US officials spoke of using bilateral talks as a means of nudging Beijing towards setting a date for when its carbon emissions will peak. However, the failure to pass a cap-and-trade bill has weakened America’s bargaining position. Climate change – as well as recent disputes over product tariffs – was expected to be on agenda during two days of US-China trade talks which began Wednesday.
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