Washington, 22 December 2023 (TDI): The United States and China delivered big wins in climate diplomacy through the unique relationship of their chief climate envoys. The two countries are bracing for a change since the Chinese envoy is retiring, and the US is ready for an election right around the corner.
According to reports, the US special climate envoy John Kerry said, “I haven’t made any decisions about anything, and I will continue as long as God gives me breath and work on climate one way or another.” The COP28 summit’s final deal was the last official action by Mr Kerry’s long-time ally of China, Climate envoy Xie Zhenhua, who guided China’s international climate talks for 16 years.
The unique US-China cooperation on climate change has also been a key to driving climate action globally, as policies are set in the world’s two largest economies. However, the momentum could be challenged if envoy Kerry’s boss, President Joe Biden, loses elections next year.
Moreover, US special climate envoy John Kerry said, “We did more than plant the seeds for future cooperation. We created a working group. We agreed to a process and created an institutional structure. There is a process in place moving forward.”
Also Read: COP28: World unites for 1.5°C climate goal
Additionally, Chinese Climate envoy Xie Zhenhua said “Neither of us will leave this community or depart from this greater cause. Both of us will continue to make contributions and efforts to proceed.”
Despite US-China divergent national interests, both climate envoys believe that to solve the climate crisis, the countries need to engage with each other.
Lastly, the warmth between both envoys, built over some 60 face-to-face meetings helped broker agreements including the 2015 Paris deal along with bilateral agreements.