US climate envoy John Kerry said Tuesday that he hoped Washington and Beijing “could come together” in the fight against global warming, at a landmark summit in Kenya aimed at promoting Africa’s potential as a green powerhouse.
“I do hope that China and the United States, the two largest economies in the world, the two largest emitters in the world, I hope we could come together” on the issue of climate change, Kerry told reporters.
“Our hope is that climate will be recognised for what it is. It is not a bilateral (issue)… It is a universal threat to the planet,” he said.
The Africa Climate Summit has brought together African leaders, with a goal of defining a shared vision for green development on the continent of 1.4 billion people ahead of the COP28 meeting in Dubai later this year.
Kerry’s comments came after the head of the International Energy Agency urged the United States and China to set aside their differences and align on climate change, warning that “geopolitical fractures” risked holding back the clean energy transition.
Fatih Birol told AFP in an interview Monday that geopolitical tensions were casting a “big shadow” because “international collaboration between the major players will be much more challenging”.
He urged China and the United States to “leave aside their tensions” — both geopolitical and economic — to seek joint or at least common positions on key issues at the COP28 climate talks.
The three-day Nairobi summit, which opened on Monday, has attracted heads of state, government and industry from across Africa, as well as UN head Antonio Guterres and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen.