Nov 14, 2022 - World

U.S. and China to resume climate change talks

Chinese premier Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden meet in Bali.

US President Joe Biden (R) and China's President Xi Jinping (L) meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali on Nov. 14. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have agreed to resume U.S.-China climate talks, the White House said on Monday.

Why it matters: Increased cooperation between the world's two top greenhouse gas emitters has the potential to affect the outcome of the ongoing COP27 summit.

  • Climate talks between U.S. special climate envoy John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, had been put on ice in the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan in August.

Driving the news: The White House released a statement on Monday saying Biden and Xi, who met in Indonesia on Monday on the sidelines of the G20 summit, “agreed to empower key senior officials to maintain communication and deepen constructive efforts” on climate change and other issues.

  • The Chinese Foreign Ministry's readout of the meeting also included specific language regarding the COP27 summit, which is ongoing in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
  • "The two countries will jointly work for the success of the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change," the ministry stated.
  • Media reports indicate that Kerry and Xie have had several informal conversations at COP27.

What they're saying: "I think this will help deescalate the climate tension between the two sides," Li Shuo of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, told Axios via email.

  • "The agreement only prevents the worst outcome — a climate de-coupling between the world's largest emitters, but what’s urgently needed is for them to not just talk, but lead," he said.

Go deeper: Biden and Xi say US and China should compete "responsibly"

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