US climate envoy will hold talks in Japan and China on cooperation on removing aid for fossil fuels, especially coal.
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry has arrived in Tokyo for talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and other officials on cooperation on carbon emissions and reducing aid for fossil fuels, especially coal.
Kerry arrived in Japan on Monday and will fly to China on Tuesday night for more climate talks – his second trip to the country under the administration of US President Joe Biden.
The talks in the two economic powers in Asia will be “to engage with international peers on 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 insists on accelerating efforts to combat carbon emissions. The US push comes ahead of the UN’s Climate Change Conference (COP26), which will 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 combat rising temperatures above 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. He urged China to join the US in urgently reducing carbon emissions.
China is the world’s largest carbon emitter, followed by the United States. Japan is fifth.
In Tokyo, the 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 stations because it is struggling with the aftermath of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, which has led to the shutdown of most reactors in the country.
In Tianjin, China, Kerry wants to build on commitments he helped 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 target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060, has pledged to improve ‘ambition’ to curb climate change and will announce new measures before the end of the year.
Activists are looking forward to any new promise on coal, with much hope that Beijing will stop funding its overseas coal-fired power plants.
Amid political tensions between the two parties, the US has tried to turn around climate issues, and Kerry has no authority to discuss any other issues with China.