Kerry to resume climate dialogue in Beijing

World News
2023-07-17 | 09:17
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Kerry to resume climate dialogue in Beijing
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Kerry to resume climate dialogue in Beijing

US Climate Envoy John Kerry held talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, in Beijing on Monday, marking a resumption of dialogue on the critically important issue of climate change for both countries, which are the world's largest polluters.

According to the state television network "CCTV," the two sides held a four-hour meeting on Monday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning stated during a regular press briefing, "Climate change is a common challenge for all of humanity."

She added that China would "discuss climate change issues with the United States and work together to address the challenges and improve the well-being of current and future generations."

China had suspended the dialogue in August as a protest against a visit to Taiwan by then-Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. However, the atmosphere seems conducive to restarting discussions after months of tension.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated in an interview with CNN on Sunday that Kerry would urge China "not to use its status as a developing country" to minimize its commitment to climate change.

Sullivan emphasized that "every country, including China, has a responsibility to reduce emissions," adding that "the world should encourage China more, or even pressure it, to take more stringent measures to reduce its emissions."

He pointed out that the world's second-largest economy "still needs to do more in this area" and that Kerry would emphasize this point during his visit to Beijing.

Kerry's visit to China will continue until Wednesday.

In recent months, American officials have made successive visits to China to improve diplomatic relations, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in early July.

Kerry's visit to China is his third since assuming office and comes at a time when the impact of climate change is becoming increasingly evident through heatwaves in many parts of the world.

The Biden administration considers climate change as an area where two competing powers can cooperate.

Chenbing Xie, a researcher at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, stated, "Kerry's visit and the resumption of climate talks confirm the importance of coordinated efforts to address the climate crisis."

She added in a written response to Agence France-Presse (AFP), "It also demonstrates their shared determination to deal with a complex geopolitical relationship to promote the common good."

China, the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases responsible for climate change, has pledged to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

President Xi Jinping confirmed that China would reduce its coal consumption starting in 2026.

However, in April, the authorities gave the green light for an increase in coal-fired power generation capacity, raising doubts about the country's climate goals.

Regarding expectations for this visit, Laurie MeliVerta, an analyst at the Methane Research Center for Energy and Clean Air, told AFP that concerning specific outcomes, "I hope there will be progress in at least one area, which is the action plan on methane emissions."

Methane was the main agreed-upon topic in the joint statement issued by the two countries after the climate talks in Glasgow in 2021.

However, China has not made any tangible progress since then, according to MeliVerta, who believes that Beijing could "engage in achieving a larger goal" in this field.

She added, "But it will require Kerry to make more than one visit to reach that point."




AFP
 

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