Obama and Hu Talk Climate

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There are certainly a number of major issues on the agenda this week as Chinese President Hu Jintao meets with Barack Obama in Washington, from human rights to currency manipulation. The one that has gotten scant attention is climate policy, though the two superpowers remain the focal point of global negotiations on the subject. Climate issues got passing notice in Obama’s remarks at their joint press conference today, as he noted that they are deepening the working relationship on energy:

We’re renewing our long-running cooperation in science and technology, which sparks advances in agriculture and industry. We’re moving ahead with our U.S.-China clean energy research center and joint ventures in wind power, smart grids and cleaner coal. I believe that as the two largest energy consumers and emitters of greenhouses gases, the United States and China have a responsibility to combat climate change by building on the progress at Copenhagen and Cancun, and showing the way to a clean energy future. And President Hu indicated that he agrees with me on this issue.

Obama added later in the remarks:

And finally, China’s rise is potentially good for the world. To the extent that China is functioning as a responsible actor on the world stage, to the extent that we have a partner in ensuring that weapons of mass destruction don’t fall into the hands of terrorists or rogue states, to the extent that we have a partner in dealing with regional hotspots, to the extent that we have a partner in addressing issues like climate change or a pandemic, to the extent that we have a partner who is helping poorer countries in Asia or in Africa further develop so that they, too, can be part of the world economy—that is something that can help create stability and order and prosperity around the world. And that’s the kind of partnership that we’d like to see.

Hu also noted their plans to work together on global challenges, listing climate change as one of them. I can imagine, though, that the conversation on this subject wasn’t entirely as chummy as the remarks would imply, however. The US last month lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organization about China’s subsidies for clean energy, arguing that the country is unfairly stacking the deck in favor of their products.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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