The US climate envoy will hold talks in Japan and China on cooperation in removing support for fossil fuels, especially coal.
US climate envoy John Kerry has arrived in Tokyo for talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and other officials about working together on carbon emissions and curbing support for fossil fuels, especially coal.
Kerry arrived in Japan on Monday and will fly to China on Tuesday evening for more climate talks — his second trip to the country under US President Joe Biden’s reign.
Talks in the two Asian economic superpowers will be “to engage with international counterparts about efforts to address the climate crisis,” the US State Department said in a statement.
The former Secretary of State has led US efforts to convince the global community of the threat of climate change and push for efforts to curb carbon emissions to accelerate. Pressure from the US comes ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), due to be held in Scotland later this year.
During a visit to London last month, Kerry called on world leaders to work together and accelerate the actions needed to curb rising temperatures to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels. He urged China to join the US in urgently reducing CO2 emissions.
China is the world’s largest carbon emitter, followed by the United States. Japan is fifth.
In Tokyo, talks are likely to focus on the country’s continued support for coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel. Japan is the only G7 country to build coal-fired power plants as it grapples with the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, which led to the shutdown of most of the country’s reactors.
In Tianjin, China, Kerry will try to build on commitments he made during his visit in April, when the two countries agreed to work together to urgently curb climate change. The US envoy is expected to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua.
China, which has set a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060, has pledged to “increase its ambition” to curb climate change and will announce new measures before the end of the year.
Activists look forward to a new pledge over coal, and many hope Beijing will stop funding overseas coal-fired power plants.
Amid political tensions between the two sides, the US has tried to shield on climate issues, and Kerry does not have the authority to discuss other topics with China.