Climate change is a 'threat to humankind': John Kerry


Published: 2023-07-18 09:10

Last Updated: 2024-05-27 03:02

Climate change is a 'threat to humankind': John Kerry
Climate change is a 'threat to humankind': John Kerry

Global warming poses a threat to all humankind and requires a new kind of cooperation between China and the United States, US climate envoy John Kerry told Chinese officials Tuesday.

Kerry has called for "urgent action" by Beijing and Washington to tackle the threat of climate change as the world's two largest polluters revive stalled diplomacy on reducing planet-warming emissions.

Speaking at Beijing's Great Hall of the People with China's top diplomat Wang Yi on Tuesday, Kerry underlined the need for "global leadership" on the issue.

His visit to China came as the Northern Hemisphere endured record-setting summer heat waves, which scientists have said are being exacerbated by climate change.

"Climate, as you know, is a global issue, not a bilateral issue. It's a threat to all of humankind," Kerry told Wang.

"This is a matter of global leadership," he stressed, adding that the world "really hopes for that and needs it".

"Our hope is now that this can be the beginning of a new definition of cooperation and of capacity to resolve the differences between us," he added, noting that "we both know there are real differences".

"But we also know from experience that if we work at it, we can find the path ahead and ways that resolve these challenges."

Wang, in response, underlined the need "for a healthy, stable, and sustainable Sino-US relationship".

"Cooperation on climate change is advancing under the overall climate of China and the United States, so we need the joint support of the people of China and the United States," Wang told Kerry, who he described as an "old friend".

Climate talks between the two biggest greenhouse gas emitters came to a halt last year after Nancy Pelosi, then speaker of the US House of Representatives, enraged Beijing by visiting self-ruled Taiwan, which China considers to be part of its territory.

Kerry, a former secretary of state, has enjoyed comparatively cordial and consistent relations with China despite Washington and Beijing locking horns over Taiwan and other issues.