U.S., Russia Say Cooperation On Climate Change Positive For Relations

U.S. climate change envoy John Kerry told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on July 12 that Washington wants to work with Moscow ahead of the UN climate change conference later this year.

Kerry is in Moscow on a four-day visit that includes talks with Lavrov, President Vladimir Putin’s climate envoy, and other government figures.

Lavrov said he viewed Kerry’s visit as a positive signal for bilateral relations and that Russia was hoping for close cooperation on climate issues ahead of the UN climate change conference scheduled to take place in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.

Kerry said the United States is pleased that Russia wants to take additional steps on climate change, “and we believe that there is space for us to cooperate on this,” adding that climate change in the Arctic was one of many warning signs of the need to act.

The two nations have a responsibility to act because the United States is the world’s second biggest greenhouse gas emitter after China and Russia is the fourth biggest, Kerry said.

Kerry expressed hope that climate change talks could act as a springboard to help reduce tensions between the two nations.

Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden singled out climate change as one of the few issues where Washington and Moscow could cooperate when they held a summit in Geneva last month.

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