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US climate ambassador John Kerry has heated debate with House Republicans ahead of visit to Beijing

United States Climate Envoy John Kelly defended negotiations with him China And during the congressman’s questioning, he angrily dismissed “stupid” lies about routinely traveling in private jets. Republican Party Thursday, before he leaves for his next climate change mission to Beijing.

Kelly will leave for a meeting with his counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, on Sunday. It will be the first major face-to-face debate on climate change in almost a year between two of the world’s worst climate polluters.

Questions at Thursday’s hearing by the Republican-led House Foreign Relations Committee oversight subcommittee said rising tensions between rival nations make it imperative to cut fossil fuel emissions this decade, scientists stress. It highlighted Mr. Kelly’s risk of impeding progress with

Republican PartyKelly’s questions about climate diplomacy challenge the existence of scientifically established facts about climate change and can escalate into openly insulting the former secretary of state, a longtime target of political hardliners. there were.

In the hottest confrontation, Republican Rep. Scott Perry accused Mr. Kelly of fabricating a “problem that doesn’t exist” of global warming. When Kelly asked why the world’s scientists and 195 world governments, who support the Paris Climate Accord, were fabricating global warming, Perry replied, “Because they are as nasty as you are.” , gasped from lawmakers.

But Democrats as well as Republicans as a whole are embracing the underlying science of climate warming, and much of the criticism from Republican commissioners on Thursday focused on the appropriateness of the United States to engage in climate change talks with China. was guessing They cited China’s record of human rights abuses and what lawmakers said was China’s evasive refusal to make deep cuts in fossil fuel emissions that harm climate change.

“They’re not honest middlemen when it comes to dealing with the emissions problem. They’re setting coal plants on fire almost every day, if not every week,” said the Republican congressman who chaired the Foreign Affairs Committee. Michael McCall said.

Republican lawmakers criticized China’s claims that China is still a developing economy and should not impose the same climate standards as the developed West, and that China uses forced labor for ethnic minorities to make solar panel components. accused of being suspected of

Kelly responded that the stark disparity between China’s claims and the world’s second-largest economy meant that progress in global emissions reductions could not be stalled. And when it comes to persuading China to maintain the same emissions reduction requirements that other big economies face, he said, “Frankly, that’s not going to happen on this visit.” .

“But the Chinese government understands that this is an issue of growing concern,” he said.

Rep. Corey Mills, a Florida Republican, referred to allegations that Kelly was conducting his climate action on a private jet, saying, “It wouldn’t be too much of a problem for the operations team and the private jet to be here. I hope so.” After that, the fireworks went up again. “

“One of the most insane lies I’ve heard is this private jet,” Kelly said.

“I don’t have a private jet. It’s stupid,” he added.

He recalled that during his two-and-a-half years as an envoy on climate change, he had flown all but five military flights in commercial aircraft, and had never flown in a private jet during that time. His family jet, which was owned primarily by his wife, was sold, he said, though he did not disclose when.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/john-kerry-ap-china-republicans-republican-b2374934.html US climate ambassador John Kerry has heated debate with House Republicans ahead of visit to Beijing

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