John Kerry made climate change a centerpiece of his first Asia tour as Secretary of State over the weekend, signing agreements with both Japan and China for cooperation in implementing practical measures for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The agreements with both nations stressed practical measures available for reducing greenhouse gases, largely ignoring the contentious United Nations process for hammering out an international climate change agreement that has to date fallen far short of its goal.
China and the United States represent the two largest carbon emitting nations and analysts have said the agreement between the two nations could mark a significant move forward and put China and the US at the “center of serious clean energy work.”
“China and the United States represent the world’s two biggest economies, we represent the world’s two largest consumers of energy, and we represent the two largest emitters of global greenhouse gases,” said Kerry in a statement. “So if any two nations come to this table with an imperative for action, it is us.
What the United States and China decide to do with respect to this, whatever energy initiative we embrace together … the two largest economies in the world will send a signal to the world about how serious we are about this,” he said.