US, China to work ‘intensively’ on climate in weeks ahead – Kerry

BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said more work was needed to iron out agreements with China on major issues, after three days of talks in Beijing designed to rebuild trust between the world’s two biggest greenhouse gas emitters.

“We – our team and the United States administration – came to Beijing in order to unstick what has been stuck since almost last August,” Kerry told reporters late on Wednesday.

Climate talks were suspended last year following the visit of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, an island over which China claims sovereignty.

“This is our first in-person meeting since that time, and we’re here to break new ground,” Kerry told a briefing on Wednesday.

He said “despite the hiatus of the last year” the two sides found many points of agreement during three days of cordial but frank discussions, and they planned to work “intensively” in the weeks ahead as they prepare for crucial COP28 climate talks in Dubai.

“We are already pinpointing the time for our next meeting and even the next one after that, recognizing that we only have about four months before the COP, and we have to make up a certain amount of time for the period that this discussion has not been taking place,” he said.

“This is not a one-off meeting,” Kerry said, noting that the abatement of non-CO2 emissions like methane and the shift away from coal dependence were a crucial part of talks.

“We are trying to work with China to figure out the path ahead. China is working hard to try to develop some of those new technologies as well as deploy those renewables that will become the clean energy in the future. We look forward to working with China to accelerate that.”

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici in Beijing and David Stanway in Singapore; Editing by Peter Graff and Jonathan Oatis)