John Kerry arrives in Beijing to restart stalled climate talks with China

US President's Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry gestures as he leaves after appearing on a political television show on July 9, 2023.  - AFP
US President’s Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry gestures as he leaves after appearing on a political television show on July 9, 2023. – AFP

As the challenge of climate change becomes more urgent, US climate envoy John Kerry is set to fly to China to resume stalled talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, as the world’s two The largest economies are coming together to reduce carbon emissions to ensure environmental sustainability.

The visit of the Biden administration’s climate envoy to China comes at a time when the world is witnessing record-breaking summer temperatures, which scientists attribute to climate degradation.

Bilateral climate talks stalled when then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan – which China considers part of its territory – which angered Beijing.

Despite the chill in bilateral relations, former Secretary of State Kerry has had a relatively close and consistent relationship with China, as the two countries disagree on a number of issues, including advanced semiconductors.

Kerry’s trip comes after two other high-profile officials from the Biden administration – First Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen – visited the world’s second largest economy to hold talks and stabilize US-China relations Is.

According to the US State Department, Kerry was scheduled to leave for China on Saturday.

Despite tensions elsewhere, the Biden administration has identified the climate as an area for potential cooperation with Beijing.

The resumption of US-China climate talks will come after the hottest week on record globally, according to the World Meteorological Organisation.

June was already the hottest month ever recorded, according to US and European agencies.

Kerry will aim to use his time in Beijing to engage with Chinese officials “to increase implementation and ambition and promote a successful COP28,” the State Department said, referring to the UN climate talks in November. .

Nearly 200 countries will gather in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for COP28 to emphasize on global warming and ways to reduce its effects.

China has pledged to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve full carbon neutrality by 2060, as President Xi Jinping also outlined that the country would reduce coal use from 2026.

During his visit, Kerry is also expected to highlight international climate finance efforts, following Yellen’s call for China to play a greater role during her visit to Beijing.

Kerry’s trip will be closely watched in Washington, as Republican lawmakers described it as “flying a carbon-spewing private jet around the world to discuss climate with a political opponent”.

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