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US climate envoy John Kerry on visit to China to revive climate cooperation

US climate envoy John Kerry, left, and Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi

The United States special envoy on climate, John Kerry, is on a three-day visit to China aimed at reviving climate cooperation between the world's top greenhouse gas emitters.

His visit has coincided with a wave of extreme weather across the planet with the US, Europe, and China seeing record stretches of high temperatures that have threatened crops and the health of both humans and animals.

"China and the United States are the two most powerful economies in the world. We also happen to be the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases,” said Kerry. “So, the imperative of our two countries coming together and working and showing the rest of the world how we can cooperate and begin to address this with the urgency it requires is incredible.”

Kerry’s bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, will focus on issues including reducing methane emissions, limiting coal use, curbing deforestation, and helping poor countries address climate change.

The US envoy is expected to push for a reduction in Beijing’s reliance on coal and setting targets on methane that, along with carbon dioxide, is a main contributor to the earth’s ever-increasing temperatures.

In meetings with China's top diplomat Wang Yi on Monday, both sides also called for more communication to restore relations disrupted by disputes over trade, Taiwan, human rights, and Beijing’s territorial claims.

“We both know there are real differences, but we also know that from experience, if we work at it, we can find the path ahead in ways that resolve these challenges,” said Kerry after the meeting.

Wang said he hoped the US special envoy could now play “an important and positive role” and that Washington could have “reasonable, practical and positive policies towards China".

Kerry is the third senior Biden administration official in recent weeks to travel to China for meetings with their counterparts there, after Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Posted on 18 Jul 2023 10:18 link