Climate-above-all plea by the US fails to stir China
As tensions between the two countries increase, US climate envoy John Kerry has cautioned China that climate change is more important than politics.
Following two days of negotiations with Chinese authorities in Tianjin, he made the remarks.
However, China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, cautioned on Wednesday that the deteriorating relationship could stymie future climate cooperation.
Both countries have laid out a plan to combat climate change. Mr. Kerry, on the other hand, has urged China to step up its efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
Disagreements about China’s human rights record, the South China Sea, and the Covid-19 epidemic have heightened tensions between the two countries in recent months.
Mr. Kerry told reporters on Thursday that he informed the Chinese that “climate change is not an ideological, partisan, or geostrategic weapon.”
“It is critical… regardless of our views, that we handle the climate catastrophe,” he stated.
Mr. Wang has previously urged the US to “stop perceiving China as a threat and an adversary,” accusing the US of making a “serious strategic error regarding China.”
“Climate cooperation between China and the United States can not be exalted above the entire atmosphere of China-US relations,” he said.
In 2006, China overtook the United States as the world’s greatest producer of carbon dioxide, accounting for more than a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions.
President Xi Jinping has stated that he wants China’s emissions to peak before 2030 and that the country will be carbon neutral by 2060. However, it is unclear how he intends to accomplish this. Mr. Kerry stated that he plans to meet with Chinese leaders again before the COP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow later this year to urge for more aggressive emission reduction objectives.
On Thursday, he said, “We have consistently said to China and other countries… to do their best within their given capacity.” “We believe China is capable of more.”