US Climate Envoy Kerry Visits China for Emissions Talks

By Dorothy Li
Dorothy Li
Dorothy Li
August 31, 2021 Updated: August 31, 2021

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry starts a three-day visit to China after meeting with Japanese officials in Tokyo on Aug. 31. The trip is aimed at building on commitments secured during Kerry’s last visit to China in April.

Kerry will meet with Xie Zhenhua, China’s special envoy for climate change affairs, in the northern port of Tianjin City from Aug. 31 to Sep. 3, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment said on Tuesday.

The meeting comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing as the Biden administration seeks to form a global alliance to counter the regime over a range of aggressions from its economic coercion to its human rights abuses.

Earlier this week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during a phone call with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said that Beijing’s cooperation with the Biden administration on issues like climate change and Afghanistan would be dependent on Washington’s “attitude toward China.” The remarks echo previous statements by Chinese officials that say that cooperation on climate change will require the United States to loosen its stance towards the regime.

Experts have previously told The Epoch Times that it would not be possible for the United States to cooperate with the regime on issues including climate change given the concessions Beijing wants in return.

Kerry will continue to discuss key issues regarding climate change, which was outlined in the statement released after his previous visit in April, according to a statement by the U.S. State Department.

In April, the two countries agreed to work together to fight against climate change after the envoys’ meeting in Shanghai. A joint statement released after the meeting said the two countries will continue the discussions on “concrete actions in the 2020s to reduce emissions.”

The Biden administration has made combating climate change among its top policy agendas and brought the United States back into the Paris Climate Accord earlier this year.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping, during a U.S.-led virtual global climate change summit in April, pledged that China would “strictly limit” increasing coal consumption in the next five years.

China is the world’s largest coal-user, by far, and is continuing to build more coal-fired power stations. It is also the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Xi, during the summit, repeated the plan to achieve “carbon neutrality” by 2060. The regime had announced earlier that the country’s carbon emission would reach a peak by 2030 and reduce to zero in the following 30 years.

A May report found that China alone was responsible for over 27 percent of total global emissions, with the United States being a distant second at 11 percent.

According to data from San Francisco-based NGO Global Energy Monitor, there were 1,082 coal-fired power stations operating in China as of January this year. Moreover, China is building 92 more stations and 135 are in the pre-construction phase.

Reuters and Nicole Hao contributed to this report.

Dorothy Li
Dorothy Li