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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.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Mar 5, 2021 - Energy & Environment

China's 5-year plan is hazy on climate

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

China's highly anticipated 5-year plan revealed on Friday provides little new information about its climate initiatives, leaving plenty to discuss in multinational meetings this year and lots of blanks for China to fill in later.

Driving the news: The top-line targets for 2025, per state media, aim to lower energy intensity by 13.5% and carbon emissions intensity by 18% — that is, measures of energy use and emissions relative to economic output.

Super typhoon Surigae explodes to Cat. 5 intensity

Super Typhoon Surigae seen on satellite imagery Saturday morning east of the Philippines. (CIRA/RAMMB)

Super Typhoon Surigae surged in intensity from a Category 1 storm on Friday to a beastly Category 5 monster on Saturday, with maximum sustained winds estimated at 190 mph with higher gusts.

Why it matters: This storm — known as Typhoon Bising in the Philippines — is just the latest of many tropical cyclones to undergo a process known as rapid intensification, a feat that studies show is becoming more common due to climate change. It weakened slightly, to the equivalent of a strong Category 4 storm, on Sunday.

4 hours ago - World

Biden adviser warns "there will be consequences" for Russia if Navalny dies

The Biden administration warned the Russian government "that there will be consequences" if jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN on Sunday.

The big picture: Sullivan also defended President Biden for not mentioning Navalny in a Thursday speech about Russia or in a Tuesday call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying the White House aims to deal with the issue "privately and through diplomatic channels."