US climate envoy John Kerry has arrived in Shanghai for consultations with his Chinese colleagues. This happens behind closed doors in a hotel, the American consulate reports.
In addition to climate policy, the plan will probably also include the international climate summit to be held later this year in Glasgow, UK.
Kerry is known to be the most senior US government employee to visit China since President Joe Biden took office. The Democrat pursues a radically different climate policy than his predecessor Donald Trump, who, among other things, stepped out of the Paris climate treaty. Biden reversed that decision immediately after taking office.
The president is also organizing his own climate summit next week. It will be held virtually, and dozens of world leaders have been invited, including the Chinese leader Xi Jinping. He has not yet confirmed that he is participating. China said that during Kerry’s visit, “Sino-American cooperation on climate change” will be discussed.
China and the US have a tense relationship, and that hasn’t changed since Biden took office. The countries are in the clinch about Chinese policies in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang region, where critics say the Uyghurs are being oppressed. Top consultations with diplomats from the two great powers in Alaska were complicated last month.
Despite this political tension, Washington hopes that agreements on climate policy can be reached with China. This emits the most greenhouse gases of all countries and has the ambition to be climate neutral by 2060. Former minister Kerry told CNN that countries have “major differences of opinion” on important issues, but that should not stand in the way of climate talks, he says.