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John Kerry meets Boris Johnson in latest sign of US shift over climate change

David Hughes, PA Political Editor
·3-min read

US president Joe Biden’s climate envoy has visited London for talks with Boris Johnson.

The visit by former secretary of state John Kerry is the latest sign of the new administration’s dramatic break from the approach to climate issues under Donald Trump.

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The UK is hosting the major United Nations Cop26 summit in Glasgow on the issue in November and Mr Kerry is visiting European capitals to strengthen global ambition to tackle climate change.

Cop26 president Alok Sharma also met Mr Kerry during his visit to London.

Mr Kerry said Mr Sharma and the Prime Minister were “strong partners in the work ahead”.

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Under Mr Biden, the US has returned to the international Paris climate agreement, which was abandoned by Mr Trump.

Mr Kerry will also meet European Union leaders in Brussels and the French government in Paris during his visit.

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On April 22, the US president will also host a leaders’ summit on climate change.

The international Cop26 summit will be held in Glasgow in November after being postponed from 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “He (Mr Johnson) dropped into a meeting with John Kerry who was also speaking to Alok Sharma at the time. It was a meeting discussing Cop and climate change.”

No 10 said that Mr Kerry also held meetings with Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab at the Foreign Office and No 11.

In a joint statement following the meeting, Mr Sharma and Mr Kerry said: “We resolved today to work closely together to reduce our own emissions and to rally all countries, and most especially the world’s major economies, to strengthen their climate ambition.

“President Biden’s upcoming Leaders Summit on Climate and the G7 leaders meeting to be hosted by the UK are both critical opportunities to build momentum on the way to COP26 in Glasgow.

“Our countries are fully committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050. We urge all countries to take the steps needed to keep a 1.5 degree C temperature limit within reach, including through ambitious nationally determined contributions and long-term strategies to cut emissions and reach net zero.

“We also resolved to work with other countries to help the world’s most vulnerable adapt and respond to climate impacts and to scale up finance and private investment for both mitigation and adaptation.

“We also look forward to working with all countries to finalise the Paris Rulebook and successfully advance wider negotiations issues. Strong progress on all of these fronts is critical to ensuring the success we need in Glasgow.”