"China Brings Back Climate Envoy With Record of Deals With U.S."

"China’s re-appointment of veteran climate negotiator Xie Zhenhua -- a key architect of the Paris Agreement and the country’s plan to end carbon emissions by 2060 -- signaled that Beijing is looking to engage the Biden administration on the issue.

Xie’s return as special envoy for climate affairs after a two-year hiatus was announced by Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui during an environmental seminar Tuesday. While Luo did not elaborate on Xie’s portfolio, the title suggests he will lead international climate negotiations, as well as bilateral talks on the topic.

The norm-breaking appointment -- since Xi, 71, has exceeded the Communist Party’s retirement age for officials of his rank -- shows China sees climate change as an area of cooperation with U.S. President Joe Biden. The new administration has highlighted the issue as a place the two sides can work together despite an escalating series of disputes during former President Donald Trump’s term.

“This is clearly a tailored move toward the U.S., an effort to ensure the diplomatic channels are there. With his experience and contacts, Xie’s appointment will at least help reduce transactional cost in China’s climate diplomacy, said Li Shuo, senior global policy adviser at Greenpeace in Beijing. “The only question is whether political appetite for substantive move is still there."

Bloomberg News had the story February 4, 2021.


Source: Bloomberg, 02/05/2021