Kerry visit to China to discuss climate issues will be first by Biden team

Mr John Kerry has been criss-crossing the globe to encourage other nations to step up their efforts.
Mr John Kerry has been criss-crossing the globe to encourage other nations to step up their efforts.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - US climate envoy John Kerry will visit China this week to discuss efforts to curb carbon emissions, the first visit to the country by a senior member of President Joe Biden's administration.

Mr Kerry will travel to Shanghai and Seoul, South Korea, on April 14-17 to "discuss raising global climate ambition" before Mr Biden's climate summit, which is set to kick off on April 22, the State Department said in a statement.

Mr Kerry will meet his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said during a regular briefing on Wednesday in Beijing.

The meetings come after a rocky encounter between top US and Chinese foreign policy officials in Alaska last month that had the two sides trading insults and lectures.

It may be a sign that despite significant differences between the world's two biggest emitters on trade and foreign policy issues, they will be able to find common ground in the battle against climate change.

The US is seeking to regain its position as a global climate leader after Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, implemented pro-fossil fuel policies and turned away from efforts to limit US greenhouse-gas production.

Mr Kerry, a former secretary of state, has been criss-crossing the globe to encourage other nations to step up their efforts, and the US is considering a pledge to cut US greenhouse-gas emissions by 50 per cent or more by the end of the decade.

Mr Biden has invited 40 world leaders to the climate summit, representing 17 of the biggest economies as well as smaller nations that will be among the first to feel the catastrophic impact of climate change.