U.S. climate envoy Kerry to meet with his Chinese counterpart: MSNBC

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry adjusts his protective face mask as he attends a joint news conference with French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire (not seen) after a meeting at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, France, March 10, 2021. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will meet with his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Monday.

Sullivan, speaking in an interview on MSNBC, did not give an exact date for the U.S.-China meeting on climate issues. But the two will be speaking on Tuesday at a ministerial meeting on climate action hosted by the EU, Canada and China.

The meeting will come after top Chinese and U.S. diplomats held their first meeting of Joe Biden’s presidency last Thursday and Friday in Alaska and publicly rebuked each other’s policies.

The Chinese delegation said after the meeting that the two sides were “committed to enhancing communication and cooperation in the field of climate change,” Xinhua news agency said on Saturday, and would set up a joint working group on climate change.

A State Department official said in a e-mailed statement to Reuters on Sunday that while the world’s two biggest greenhouse emitters will engage on climate change, they “did not form a formal working group.”

The United States is expected to announce its new emission reduction target for the year 2030 under the Paris agreement by April 22, when Biden will host a world leaders’ summit on climate change.

Last fall, Chinese President Xi announced that China committed to achieve net zero emissions before 2060.

The State Department official said while that target “represents a significant step forward, China is not yet on a path that will allow the world to keep a 1.5-degree Celsius limit on global temperature rise within reach, which scientists tell us is necessary to stave off the most catastrophic impacts.”

Reporting by Valerie Volcovici and Susan Heavey; Editing by Dan Grebler