China makes concessions to Germany on electric car quotas

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, June 1, 2017.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang were holding bilateral talks in Berlin on Thursday in an effort to shape the agenda ahead of a G20 summit taking place in Hamburg next month.

Just hours after Donald Trump is expected to announce he will pull the United States out of the Paris agreement, European and Chinese leaders will outline how they plan to take the lead on global climate policy.

President Donald Trump is expected to announce his decision on whether to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord Thursday afternoon USA time (3 p.m. EDT; 1900 GMT).

Merkel has been trying to play down any notions that she plans to pivot away from the United States in the wake of an impasse on climate change and towards other powers.

"We will issue a joint statement on climate change that will stress that China and the European Union. will implement the agreement", a senior European Union official told reporters on Wednesday, on condition of anonymity.

And Miguel Arias Canete, the European commissioner who has led climate talks with Beijing, said of the Paris accord: "No one should be left behind, but the EU and China have chose to move forward".

Five Nordic countries have written a last-minute letter to President Donald Trump urging him to "make the right decision" and keep America signed onto the Paris climate accord.

More news: G7 leaders turn gaze to Africa, climate harmony elusive

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Britain would continue to press Washington to reduce risky emissions even if Mr Trump pulls out.

Russian Federation joined the chorus speaking out in favor of the climate accord.

"We will continue to lobby the Americans and the White House to show the leadership they have shown in the past on reducing CO2, " he said.

The European Union and China plan to issue a joint statement - the first time this has happened - committing to full implementation of the Paris Agreement.

In Brussels, the Chinese Premier will co-chair the 19th China-EU leaders' meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and pay an official visit to Belgium.

Trump claimed before taking office that climate change was a "hoax" created by China to hurt the US economy, an assertion that stands in defiance of broad scientific consensus.

Later on Thursday, Li will travel to Brussels for the annual EU-China summit, where he will meet top EU officials to discuss issues including trade, greenhouse gas emissions and North Korea's missile tests.

  • Adam Floyd