U.S.’s Kerry on Trip to Japan, China to Discuss Climate Efforts
(Bloomberg) -- John Kerry, the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, began a tour that takes him to Japan and China to discuss commitments as the international summit in Scotland later this year draws nearer, the State Department said.
The trip, which started with meetings in Japan on Tuesday, is intended to involve the two Asian powers in the international campaign to combat global warming, the department said in a statement Monday night. China confirmed Kerry would visit from Tuesday to Friday and hold meetings with counterpart Xie Zhenhua.
The visits to Tokyo and Tianjin in China take place a few weeks after the release of a report by the world’s top climate scientists, who warned the Earth would warm by 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next two decades without drastic efforts to eliminate greenhouse gas pollution.
Kerry met Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in Tokyo to discuss cooperation on global efforts, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi met Kerry earlier in the day and said the two talked about climate issues including the role played by major carbon emitters, such as China.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report found that the past decade was most likely hotter than any period in the last 125,000 years. Combustion and deforestation have also raised carbon dioxide in the atmosphere higher than it’s been in two million years, according to the report, and agriculture and fossil fuels have contributed to methane and nitrous oxide concentration higher than any point in at least 800,000 years.
After the report was released, Kerry said it highlighted the necessity of “real action” in the 2020s. “All major economies must commit to aggressive climate action during this critical decade,” he added.
The State Department said that in his meetings with Japanese and Chinese officials, Kerry, a former secretary of state and Democratic presidential nominee, would discuss cooperative action with the approach of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that begins in Glasgow on Oct. 31.
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