The United States and China have both expressed the willingness to cooperate with one another on the pressing issue of climate crisis ahead of a key summit hosted by President Joe Biden.
The joint statement came public following a trip to Shanghai by US climate envoy John Kerry, the first official from Biden’s administration to visit China, signaling hopes the two sides could work together on the global challenge despite sky-high tensions on multiple other fronts.
But to achieve the global climate goal, Kerry said words must be put into action and urged China to reduce its use of coal.
“The United States and China are committed to cooperating with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the seriousness and urgency that it demands,” said the statement from Kerry and China’s special envoy for climate change Xie Zhenhua.
Both countries listed multiple avenues of climate cooperation between the world’s top two economies which together account for nearly half of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.
It stressed “enhancing their respective actions and cooperating in multilateral processes, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.”
Both countries also “look forward” to a virtual climate summit of world leaders that Biden will host next week, though the statement did not say if Chinese President Xi Jinping would attend.
“We very much hope he will take part,” Kerry, who is now in South Korea, told reporters on Sunday.
“Of course, every country will make its own decisions,” he said, adding: “We’re not seeking to force anybody. We’re seeking cooperation.”