U.S. Climate Envoy Kerry Plans Visit to China in Coming Weeks
(Bloomberg) -- John Kerry, President Joe Biden’s climate envoy, said he will make another trip to China in the coming weeks to try to build on what he characterized as a productive call earlier this month between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“I’m confident President Xi” and “President Biden will meet at some point, I don’t know when, but I’m going to be going back to China somewhere in the next weeks to follow up on the conversation with President Xi and President Biden,” Kerry said Wednesday during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
The leaders of the world’s two biggest economies spoke by phone for 90 minutes Sept. 9, their first discussion since February amid an increasingly tense relationship over issues from human rights to the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kerry’s comments come a day after Biden and Xi each boosted their efforts to help other nations address climate change during the first day of world leaders addressing the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Biden said in his Tuesday morning speech to the group that the U.S. would double funding to aid developing countries cope with climate change, helping bring the world closer to a $100 billion annual target sought ahead of a key conference in Scotland next month.
Hours later, in a prerecorded video, Xi said China will stop building coal-fired power plants abroad, a move long sought by climate activists.
It was unclear if that meant China would stop all involvement with coal-fired power plants, including providing financing. At a briefing in Beijing on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said he would try to learn more from relevant departments about the details of Xi’s plan.
The moves at the UN summit signaled the importance placed on climate change as governments globally face mounting costs from extreme weather events.
Kerry visited the port city of Tianjin -- about 60 miles (100 kilometers) east of Beijing -- several weeks ago for meetings with counterpart Xie Zhenhua. He was on the second leg of a trip to Asia that started in Tokyo to discuss climate commitments before the UN climate change conference in Glasgow in November.
“We can’t get where we need to go to be net zero by 2050 if China isn’t joining in that effort,” Kerry said Wednesday.
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