Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry has issued a warning that tension with China is hurting his climate efforts, and is encouraging the United States to find a way to work with Russia since they are a “huge emitter.” According to Breitbart, Kerry is worried that China feels the United States is only “bashing them” and that they will retreat from any climate talks because of those circumstances.
Breitbart reports that Kerry told Axios at CERAWeek, “Regrettably, in the last year … what was not supposed to happen has happened, which is the climate issue has gotten mixed up into all the other tensions that exist between our countries […] And so they’ve kind of pulled back a little bit, expressing the feeling that all we’re doing is bashing them and bashing them.”
The tension with China to which Kerry is likely referring includes the Chinese spy balloon that flew over the United States and was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean days after its discovery, despite China’s claims that it was just a weather balloon that had gone off course. Tension has also escalated over Taiwan, TikTok, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Regardless of such situations, Kerry is eager to maintain his working relationship with China since he has been “empowered” by President Biden “to reach out to China and work with China.”
Russia is also on Kerry’s list of countries that the United States needs to cooperate with because he said that they are major emitters adding to the climate crisis. In an interview with Yahoo News, Kerry said, “We even have to find a way, ultimately, if we can resolve the war in Ukraine, to work with Russia, because Russia is a huge emitter,” adding that if Russia does not change their energy sources, it will make it very difficult, if not “impossible” to reach the goals he has set.
According to Breitbart, “Kerry holds a cabinet-level position in the Biden administration — that did require a Senate confirmation — and has authority over energy and climate policy within the executive branch. The climate envoy sits on the National Security Council and President Joe Biden’s cabinet and has an office housed in the State Department with an estimated annual budget of $13.9 million and 45 personnel.”
Since the United States and China made a joint declaration in 2021 to take on emissions, Kerry will not release details of his meetings. In February, House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY) demanded a probe into the meetings for transparency, but Kerry still has yet to share any information.