John Carey Head to China to Talk Climate

President Biden’s climate envoy, John Kerry, was scheduled to arrive in China on Wednesday, the first Biden administration official to visit the country in a moment of high diplomatic tension.

In his formal announcement of the visit, the State Department said that Mr. Carey would discuss “enhancing global climate ambitions” Virtual climate peak President Biden plans to host dozens of world leaders later this month. The summit aims to do more for countries to reduce carbon emissions and limit planet warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, a scientific scientists’ argument is needed to prevent catastrophic changes to life on the planet.

President Biden has invited Chinese leader Xi Jinping to the summit, but Mr. Xi has not yet accepted the invitation. His participation in a US diplomatic initiative, were it to happen, would be an important sign of China’s willingness to work with the United States despite growing tensions over sanctions and new measures that the new administration has taken in coordination with its allies .

Mr Carey’s visit to China underscores the Biden administration’s intention to cooperate with China on shared challenges, including climate, coronavirus and nuclear proliferation, as countries increasingly close in political, technical and military competition.

There have been some external signs of cooperation so far, as both countries have intensified their military operations in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, near China and Taiwan, and in the South China Sea.

In a move to annoy Beijing, the State Department also announced on Tuesday that a delegation of former US officials, including two former deputy secretaries of state, made “personal signs” of Mr Biden’s commitment to island democracy. Roop will visit Taiwan, which Beijing claims as part of its territory. Chinese authorities have sharply criticized the administration’s signs of support for Taiwan.

Mr. Biden has clarified that he sees China as a major strategic threat to the United States. At a testy diplomatic summit in Anchorage last month, senior Chinese and US officials made an increasingly critical assessment of each other’s policies.

Mr Carey’s visit comes after the release of a major annual intelligence report on Tuesday warning China’s efforts to expand its growing influence as one of the biggest threats to the United States. According to the report, China’s strategy is to run wedges between the United States and its allies. The report also identified climate change as a growing threat to the United States.

Biden officials understand that cooperation from China, the world’s top emitter of greenhouse gas, is needed to deal effectively with climate change. As Secretary of State in the Obama administration, Mr. Carey helped himself secure China’s agreement to join the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Mr. Carey has already visited several countries in his role as Mr. Biden’s envoy for climate matters. In March, Mr Carey met with European officials in London, Brussels and Paris. This month, he toured the United Arab Emirates, India and Bangladesh.

In New Delhi, Mr. Carey invited Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei V. Met with Lavrov, whose country, one of the world’s top emitters of greenhouse gases, is also a strategic rival of the United States.

In China, he will meet Xie Xinhua, the chief Chinese negotiator, in the negotiations leading up to the Paris Agreement. In what was seen as a response to Mr. Carey’s appointment, Mr. Xi forced him out of retirement in February.

Mr. Zhi and Mr. Carey met during the first round of climate negotiations and had been in contact since taking over their new roles. They appeared together during a virtual conference last month, known as the Minister on Climate Action.

Mr. Xi has highlighted the need for action on climate change, leading China to commit to new specific targets to reduce emissions. He promised to accelerate this point to the peak of emissions in China, which was earlier in 2030, and to reach “carbon neutrality” by 2060 – meaning more emissions from the environment imposed in the country Will not done. Or engineering.

Environmentalists praised those goals, but later expressed disappointment that the Chinese government did not disclose a new five-year economic plan in March.

At the same time, China has approved new coal plants, one of the major sources of carbon emissions, which prioritize the social stability and economic development of an important industry in the home.

Thom Woodrowf, An analyst at the Asia Society Policy Institute studying Chinese-American climate cooperation, said in a discussion last month that the two countries wanted to emphasize the issue of climate change over their other controversies.

“From China’s point of view, there is a recognition that they have more to gain from losing than finding a way to collaborate with the United States on the climate,” he said.

While President Trump was in the White House, China raised his profile as a leading player in climate change policy. “With the inauguration of Biden, they simply don’t want to isolate that situation,” he said.

Chris Buckley contributed reporting and Claire Fu contributed research.

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