US government special envoy for climate John Kerry resumes stalled negotiations to combat global warming between the world’s two biggest polluters, after a year of deadlock. The conversation will revolve around the reduction of methane emissions, the abandonment of coal, renewable energy technologies and the fight against deforestation. A visit prior to COP28 of 2023, which will be between November 30 and December 12, 2023.
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After having spent a blank year between the powers in relation to this climate and environmental issue, the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world sit at the table to try to reduce the tension in their relations and find common ground for the benefit of the weather.
From Sunday 16 to Wednesday 19 July, john kerry will meet his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, in Beijing, to talk about reducing methane emissions, strategies to limit the use of coal, the fight against deforestation and possible aid to poor countries on climate issues, among other topics.
The two men have worked together on some of the most important advances of the past decade, including the 2015 Paris Agreement, which calls for cutting global emissions to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C by the end of the century.
“John Kerry is also very popular in China and has always been praised, this shows that, like in the United States, in China there is not a single bloc of supporters who seek confrontation between the two countries,” explained Jean-Joseph Boillot, IRIS research associate and emerging economies specialist to Reuters.
The visit of President Joe Biden’s special climate envoy becomes the third by a senior US official in recent weeks, after the Secretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury were in Beijing, which seems to confirm a permanent rapprochement in amid tense relations between Beijing and Washington.
In addition, the trip also represents the official resumption of climate talks between the world’s first and second economies, after having ceased for a year when China cut ties with the United States on August 5, 2022 as a result of the visit. to Taiwan from Nancy Pelosi, who was then the Speaker of the US House of Representatives.
After this situation, both only held a series of informal conversations regarding climate issues in the COP27 summit in Egypt.
“China and the United States are the two largest economies in the world and we are also the two largest emitters. It is clear that we have a special responsibility to find common ground,” Kerry said in an interview with The New York Times last week.
Environmental experts, consulted by the Reuters agency, assure that achieving cooperation between the two largest powers in the world is crucial just at a time when the planet is facing the consequences of global warming. In the first half of this year, extreme events have been reported, increasingly common, such as heat waves that cross Asia and Europe.
Just at the beginning of this month The US Agency for Oceanic and Atmospheric Observation (NOAA) recorded that July 4 was the hottest day on record in the world, when the average air temperature on the planet’s surface was 17.18°C.
A mark that exceeded 17.01 °C measured on Monday, July 3, and that had already exceeded the previous 16.92 °C established on August 14, 2016 and repeated on July 24, 2022.
“I think it’s important that a positive agenda comes out of this meeting, even if it’s just an agreement to continue meeting,” Joanna Lewis, an expert on China climate policy at Georgetown University, told Reuters.
Conversations amid tensions
Washington and Beijing reach this point with bilateral relations that are in full reconstruction, because, although between July 6 and 9, the US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, was in Beijing and assured that her 10 hours of The meetings took place with “frank and productive” conversations and that both countries would seek to have more dialogue and exchange scenarios, behind the curtain there are a series of events that have weakened the trust of both parties.
Among the important differences in the approach to economic and political issues are heThe alleged spy balloons that flew over North America, the vision of the two countries regarding the sovereignty of Taiwan and the Western fear that the communist government will participate directly in the war in Ukraine supporting Russia.
Scenarios that have been further complicated given the US accusations against China for allegedly spying on White House officials through its TikTok application, the US law that blocks imports of goods from the Xinjiang region, where Washington believes that China applies forced labor; and even the feuds that have not been healed by Trump-era tariffs on Chinese goods.
Prior to the US Treasury Secretary’s visit, Secretary of State Antony Blinkem was also in China to speak with the country’s president in an effort to stabilize their relations. However, after the talks on June 19, the picture was complicated again, when the US president described the Chinese leader Xi Jinping as a “dictator”.
With Reuters and AP.