US Secretary of State for Climate Change John Kerry appeared to press China on Wednesday to increase measures to prevent global warming as tensions between the two major powers escalated over multiple economic and security issues.
A meeting between US climate envoy John Kerry and officials from China’s foreign ministry is planned for Wednesday.
Relations between Washington and Beijing are fraught with litigation for trade, technology, and human rights, but the two sides have identified the climate crisis as a potential area of cooperation.
China is the world’s largest coal consumer, generating around 60% of its electricity from coal and the largest source of greenhouse gases in the world.
It plans to build more coal-fired power generation facilities, but still intends to significantly scale back its use of fossil fuels.
Beijing has cited historic US emissions as the reason to oppose measures as it makes strides on solar and other renewable energy sources.
In his speech to the UN General Assembly in September last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to push the country’s total carbon dioxide emissions to a peak level by 2030, and become carbon neutral by 2060.
President Joe Biden has unveiled a goal of reducing US greenhouse gas emissions by 52 percent by 2030 – double what was stipulated by President Barack Obama’s Paris climate agreement in 2015.