The U.S. also is holding its own virtual meeting with top-emitting countries on April 22.
Despite a fraught U.S.-China relationship, Kerry has emphasized the U.S. can “find a way to compartmentalize” its global warming discussions with China, which is the world’s top emitter, responsible for almost 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Concerns about other matters , such as protecting intellectual property, are “obviously significant issues,” Kerry said on March 2 at CERAWeek by IHS Markit, “but the climate crisis is not something that can fall victim to those other concerns and contests.”
Kerry, a former secretary of State and U.S. senator, has been in touch with Xie since they were both appointed, and further conversations between the two are expected, according to one of the people familiar with the interactions.
Tuesday’s meeting comes as the U.S. seeks to rebuild trust after the country’s departure from the Paris climate agreement under President Donald Trump. Since the U.S. formally rejoined the pact in February, Kerry has been meeting with climate negotiators globally to underscore the country’s commitment to the accord.
Kerry, who helped broker the landmark agreement when he led the State Department under President Barack Obama, pressed climate concerns in meetings with top European Commission officials earlier this month. A renewed alliance between the U.S. and the E.U. on climate issues could shift the dynamics of crucial global talks, encouraging China and other major polluters to step up their efforts to reduce emissions, Kerry said at the time.