US climate envoy Kerry to visit China, Japan ahead of summit

Washington (AFP) –


US climate envoy John Kerry will embark on a visit to Japan and China Tuesday as Washington tries to build momentum ahead of a key summit on combatting global warming set for November.

Kerry, who already visited China in April, will go to Tianjin to "continue discussions on key aspects of the climate crisis," the State Department said in a statement on Monday.

During the trip that is due to end on Friday, the former secretary of state will also meet international counterparts in Tokyo, the statement added, to "discuss efforts to drive collective climate action".

The US envoy's Asian tour "bolsters the United States' bilateral and multilateral efforts to raise climate ambition" ahead of the COP26 climate summit, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.

After Kerry's visit to Shanghai in mid-April, the two countries pledged to "cooperate... to face the climate crisis," according to a joint statement, but Beijing said at the end of July that this cooperation would depend on "the overall health" of bilateral relations.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, published in August, warned the world is on course to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming by around 2030, a decade earlier than predicted just three years ago.

Years in the making, the sobering report approved by 195 nations shines a harsh spotlight on governments dithering in the face of mounting evidence that climate change is an existential threat.