In this June 26, 2016 file photo, then Secretary of State John Kerry emerged from his plane after landing at Fiumicino International Airport in Rome, Italy,
John Kerry, formerly US Secretary of State and currently the President’s special envoy for the climate, was in Shanghai from April 14-17 to discuss climate issues. This is the first high-level visit by a Biden administration official to China, a sign of the vital role climate issues play in this relationship. During his visit, Kerry met with his counterpart, China’s Climate Special Envoy Xie Zhenhua, as well as with Deputy Prime Minister Han Zheng, a member of China’s top political body, the Commission. Standing of the Politburo.
“During the talks, the two sides had a frank, insightful and constructive exchange on climate change cooperation, the Summit of Climate Leaders, COP26 of the UNFCCC and progress made. positive, “State Department spokesman Wang Wenbin said in a news conference in April 19.” They reopened the channel for dialogue and climate change cooperation between China and the US. “
He added, “The two sides will continue to maintain communication, dialogue and strengthen exchanges and cooperation in areas such as introducing stronger policies and measures, promoting the green transition, low-carbon and supporting low-carbon energy development in developing countries ”.
According to one statement from China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment, China and the United States “also vowed to formulate a long-term strategy to realize carbon neutrality and net greenhouse gas emissions before COP 26”, to take place in November 2021 in Glasgow, President Xi Jin British Binh announced that China would set its net zero net emissions target by 2060 in a surprise statement last fall, while the Biden administration has set 2050 as a target date for the U.S. to reach it. same goal.
The General statement Kerry’s post-trip pledges three specific actions for China-US climate cooperation “in the short term.” First, as mentioned above, both sides will devise their own long-term strategies to achieve the previously achieved goals of achieving net zero emissions.
Second, “Both countries intend to take appropriate action to maximize international investment and finance to support the transition from high-carbon fossil fuels. to green energy, low carbon and renewable energy in developing countries. ” This could be an important area of cooperation, if China and the United States work together to fund green transitions in developing countries. Currently, China is one of the world’s leading investors in coal-fired power plants abroad, and the United States primarily framed investments in renewable energy as an alternative to its option. China, which increases geopolitical costs for third countries. If the two sides cooperate on such projects instead, there will inevitably be more interested parties.
Finally, both China and the US pledged to continue phasing out hydrofluorocarbon production and consumption under the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment.
The statement also pledged to discuss further “specific actions in the 2020s to reduce emissions to keep the Paris Agreement temperature limit within reach”, including on renewable energy technology. generation (including hydrogen energy and carbon capture), green transport options and agro-climate resilient, among other sectors.
During the previous Obama administration in the United States, climate change was an important part of the Sino-US relationship, underlined by a key bilateral agreement on climate change that paved the way for the Agreement. Global Paris 2015. But Obama’s successor, President Donald Trump, withdrew the US from the Paris climate deal and downgraded climate change mitigation efforts. As a result, climate cooperation under Trump was withered even before the rest of the rifting relationship between the trade war and the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the Xi regime in China has gone in the opposite direction, through environmental protection is one of its main management goals.
Mr. Kerry’s visit inevitably puts climate change back on the US-China agenda. It could be one of the few areas where the two sides can truly cooperate – if they can keep other areas of tension from spotting. It is no easy task, as one of the key elements of any climate change strategy is the pursuit of energy technology, folding into the broader competition between China and the United States for won the leading position in technology in many fields.
“Both countries look forward to the Climate Leaders Summit hosted by the United States on April 22, 2013,” the joint statement said. However, China’s Foreign Ministry declined to confirm whether Xi will participate in the virtual summit later this week.
“The Chinese side has received an invitation from the US side, and is actively looking at that,” said State Department spokesman Wang Yi. when asked about Xi’s attendance.