Updated Mar 7, 2021 - Energy & Environment

John Kerry to travel to Europe next week for climate talks

 Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry speaks during a press briefing at the White House on January 27
Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry at the White House in January. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will travel to London, Brussels, and Paris next week to "work with European allies to strengthen global climate ambition" ahead of two key summits on the issue, his office announced Saturday.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Ben Geman: Kerry's trip is a sign that team the U.S. is seeking tangible outcomes from President Biden's Leaders Summit on Climate next month, not just talk and vague calls to get serious about tackling climate change.

Of note: Kerry's March 8-10 visit to the European cities marks the first major in-person multilateral meeting for months, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing leaders to hold such talks virtually. Kerry was vaccinated against the virus last month.

Details: In London, Kerry will meet with representatives from the British government who are hosting this November's 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Glasgow, Scotland, per a statement.

  • He'll meet with representatives of the European Commission in Belgium's capital and with French government officials in Paris.

What they're saying: The State Department said in an emailed statement that Kerry is traveling to Europe following careful consultation with his hosts "because the progress we need demands a handful of key in-person meetings to coordinate our efforts."

  • Officials would "observe all applicable public health regulations and safety measures" to protect against the coronavirus, including physical distancing and wearing face coverings as appropriate, the statement added.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from the State Department.

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