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Kerry says he’s ‘hopeful, not confident’ that China will cooperate on emissions

John Kerry arrives at India's Ministry of Finance in New Delhi
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U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry said Thursday he was “not confident, but hopeful” that China would be willing to partner with other countries on meeting carbon emission reduction targets.

“I’m hopeful. Not confident at this point. I’m hopeful. Because China is a very important player in this,” Kerry said in an interview with India Today. “We hope that China will come to the table and lead. President Xi [Jinping] has talked about leadership, about China’s role in this.”

Kerry’s remarks came during a diplomatic trip to India, where he is working to strengthen international commitments on emissions under the Paris climate accord. He was previously in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

India is the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, after China and the U.S.

“We want to work with China in doing this. What President Biden has said is, we will have our differences on some issues. We clearly do. So does India,” the former secretary of State told India Today’s Raj Chengappa. “But that doesn’t mean we should ignore the crisis before all of us which requires all of us to respond, and that’s the climate crisis.”

“China and the United States cooperated in 2013, 2014, and we were able to announce our joint efforts. I think that helped significantly to produce” the Paris climate agreement, he added.

Earlier this month during the UAE leg of his trip, Kerry said the U.S. remains optimistic about climate negotiations with China.

“President Biden has made it clear and I’ve made it clear: None of the other issues we have with China — and there are issues — is held hostage to or is engaged in a trade for what we need to do on climate,” Kerry said at the time.

China has pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2060 as its nationally determined contribution under the Paris climate agreement. However, an analysis by the independent Climate Action Tracker determined the country’s level of coal production is “inconsistent with the Paris Agreement.”

Biden has said he wants to put the U.S. on track to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Tags carbon emissions China Climate change greenhouse gases India Joe Biden John Kerry paris climate accord UAE

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