US-Russia say climate talks a springboard to ease tensions

MOSCOW (AP) — U.S. climate envoy John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed hope on Monday that climate transform talks could act as a springboard to help reduce escalating tensions concerning the two rivals nations.

Kerry met Lavrov as section of his 4-working day visit to Moscow as tensions keep on to complicate the two countries’ bilateral relations. Kerry is the maximum-rating official from President Joe Biden’s administration to go to Russia so considerably.

Lavrov said that Russia “attaches terrific importance” to the difficulties of climate transform and will continue to cooperate with other nations on these concerns.

Russia’s best diplomat stated Kerry’s Moscow check out sends “an crucial and a good signal for enhancement of our bilateral relations, for assuaging the rigidity, and establishing substantive and professional get the job done in the parts exactly where we can obtain a frequent denominator.”

Kerry said he thought there was “space” for Russia and the U.S. “to collaborate on this (local weather modify problems) and most likely to be capable to open up up some far better chances on other concerns, as we do cooperate on this.”

The U.S. official stated local weather adjust is as important a problem as any the two males experienced negotiated in the earlier this kind of as nuclear weapons.

“We spent decades, you and I, negotiating on even worse. We negotiated on chemical weapons, we negotiated on nuclear weapons. I would say to you devoid of any reservation, this is definitely as important, as compelling, as urgent an challenge, as any of people other folks,” Kerry mentioned.

The U.S. follows China as international leaders in climate-damaging emissions of coal and petroleum fumes. But Russia, the world’s No. 4 for the reason that of its dependence on coal for energy generation, is an outsize contributor to weather transform relative to the size of its financial state and populace.

Kerry, previous Secretary of State in the Obama administration, is encouraging other governments to dedicate to tricky targets to slash emissions in advance of a U.N. world-wide local climate summit later on this calendar year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin took aspect by video in Biden’s April local weather summit. But the Russian leader’s governing administration has set only unambitious targets for chopping emissions as the squander from burning fossil fuels heats up the world.

Kerry’s vacation comes as the two nations spar about ransomware attacks blamed on gangs connected to Russia, putting Biden beneath domestic tension to punish Russia over the hacking.

Biden’s administration has sought cooperation with U.S. opponents and opponents on climate in spite of occasionally hostile relations on other issues.

Elva Zachman

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