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Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Brian Snyder/AFP via Getty Images

Special Climate Envoy John Kerry heads to China next month with plans to prod the world's largest carbon emitter on taking stronger climate steps as the crucial United Nations summit looms this fall.

Driving the news: Kerry will be in Tianjin, China from Sept. 1-3 after an Aug. 31 meeting in Tokyo, per a source familiar with the plans and published reports.

What we're watching: Via the Wall Street Journal, Kerry will "press Chinese leaders to declare a moratorium on financing international coal-fired projects."

  • The source familiar with his plans confirms that's among several items on the agenda for talks between the two largest greenhouse gas emitting nations.

Flashback: Kerry's second trip to China as President Biden's climate diplomat follows an April visit that produced a broad pledge of cooperation.

The big picture: Transforming gauzy emissions-cutting "ambition" into reality in both nations is pivotal to keeping the temperature-limiting goals of the Paris climate deal from slipping away completely.

But that's not easy as China's coal thirst shows no signs of abating, while President Biden's ability to deliver is tethered to uncertain Capitol Hill talks.

The intrigue: Getting back to China's longstanding finance for coal plants abroad, the WSJ notes China has "quietly stopped" approving new projects in recent months.

  • "Even so, Mr. Kerry has been seeking to push Beijing to publicly declare a blanket moratorium ahead of the U.N. global climate summit."

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
16 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Oct 15, 2021 - World

First look: New bipartisan bill to counter China's economic coercion

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has announced a new bill that would establish an interagency task force to craft a response to China's use of economic measures to further its geopolitical goals.

Why it matters: The draft bill represents growing awareness in the U.S. that economic coercion is a cornerstone of the Chinese Communist Party's ability to project authoritarianism beyond its borders.

Facing existential threat from climate change, Pacific Islanders urge world to listen

Climate organizer Moñeka De Oro (left), Guam Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio and Micronesia Climate Change Alliance. Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Courtesy of MCCA and the University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability

Decades after Pacific Islanders first raised the alarm, the rest of the world is finally catching up: The climate crisis is here, and it's accelerating.

Why it matters: Pacific Islanders, whose nations face an existential threat from climate change, were a major force behind the Paris Agreement. Heading into November's UN climate summit, they are calling for greater urgency in meeting the goals of the accord, and more direct action from world leaders — especially President Biden.

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