China promised Wednesday to stick to its climate commitments after President Donald Trump eased U.S. curbs on coal and oil use, opening the way for Beijing to assert itself as a leader in environmental policy.
China is the No. 1 emitter of climate-changing greenhouse gases but also the top investor in solar, wind and other renewable energy. It has promised to cap coal use and rein in growth of carbon dioxide emissions.
"As a responsible developing country, China's plan, determination and policy to tackle climate change is resolute," foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.
Beijing's collaboration on climate with Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, had been seen as a bright spot in a bilateral relationship with numerous strains.
Trump has called climate change a hoax created by China and promised to unwind Obama's measures to curb global warming. Trump's order Tuesday rescinded nearly a dozen measures enacted by Obama. Trump said he wanted to create more coal mining jobs, though industry analysts say demand is likely to decline as the price of solar, wind and other alternatives falls.