White House climate change envoy John Kerry testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on December 12 that China has “done something” after holding climate talks together, but that the Biden administration will not just “rely on the word of others” to ensure that China meets its climate commitments. The Biden administration will not just “rely on the word of others” to ensure that the Chinese Communist Party meets its climate commitments. It’s not a matter of trust,” he said, “and it would be foolish and malfeasant for us to just build a relationship of trust.
When President Biden took office, he made global climate change a top priority and appointed Kerry, who had represented the Democratic Party in the race for the presidency and served as secretary of state, as his special envoy.
Kerry has positioned China as an adversary and a global economic competitor. It will take not only U.S. pressure, but also a concerted international effort to ensure that the world can maintain temperatures no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
Kerry noted that Xi’s ability to say that climate change is a “crisis” is certainly a step forward, but last month there were heated discussions about China’s overseas funding of coal-fired power plants, which would undermine the chances of controlling temperature targets.
Kerry, who once served as secretary of state, said he discussed with EU foreign ministers earlier this week to form a unified strategy to deal with China and other countries.
But so far, the U.S.-European dialogue has not established a unified international trade policy that offers punishment when China fails to make progress.
Both the EU and the Biden administration are evaluating how to deal with imports that are carbon-intensive in their production processes. When it comes to carbon tariffs, Carey noted that the U.S. is looking at how these mechanisms are going to work and how to achieve fairness.