Kerry: US, China will 'set tone' on climate change

Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that the U.S. and China have a "special role to play together" in the fight to mitigate climate change.

At a signing ceremony for eight climate agreements made between the two countries earlier this week, Kerry emphasized the need for the U.S. and China to lead on the issue.

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The eight projects, which will focus on carbon capture, or clean coal, technology and smart grids, were agreed to in a show of cooperation between the two nations.

"Our words and our actions will set the tone," Kerry said Thursday. "Either we create the momentum to galvanize global action in order to deal with this, or we risk a global catastrophe. 

"You can't be half pregnant on this," Kerry said of climate action.

The deals worked out between China and the U.S. are also meant to encourage other countries to take action ahead of the Paris 2015 talks.

In December of next year, 120 nations will work to form one treaty on greenhouse gas emission reductions in Paris.

But many nations, especially developing countries, will watch the two superpowers closely going into the talks.

Kerry remained confident that the agreements forged this week will signal to other countries that the U.S. and China are "serious" about climate change.