Following talks between US climate envoy John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, the world’s two largest producers of greenhouse gases issued a joint statement at the weekend saying they would cooperate on mitigating climate change.
The fight against global warming must be tackled with the seriousness and urgency demanded, it said. More needs to be done nationally and multilaterally.
The virtual climate summit, to be hosted by US President Joe Biden on Thursday and Friday, should step up efforts and also prepare for a climate conference in Glasgow in November, both agreed.
The US and China wanted to continue discussing “concrete measures” to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Accord.
Under the Paris deal, the nearly 200 signatory states agreed to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, if possible even to 1.5 degrees, in comparison with the pre-industrial times of 1850-1900. By that measure, the Earth has already warmed by about 1 degree.
Kerry, a former US secretary of state, visited China last week, the highest-ranking representative of the new US administration to do so as of yet.
Climate is considered one of the few areas in which cooperation between the two strategic rivals seems possible at present. The relationship has slumped to its lowest point since diplomatic relations were established in 1979.