HONG KONG—The U.S. and China are tiptoeing toward cooperation on climate change despite recent and testy high-level talks, with the two governments’ chief climate envoys scheduled to come together for formal discussions this week.
The U.S. climate envoy, John Kerry, will join his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, at a virtual climate conference on Tuesday. China will chair the meeting of top officials from dozens of European countries, the European Union and Canada.
Tuesday’s conference, known as the Ministerial on Climate Action, is an annual meeting of major economies and polluters that was set up by China, the European Union and Canada after the U.S. moved to exit from the Paris accord in 2017. Mr. Kerry’s decision to join the event is intended to signal that the U.S. is back at the climate table, people familiar with the plans said.
The event marks the first formal engagement between Messrs. Kerry and Xie in the two months since the Biden administration took office, though the two have spoken informally about the possibility of setting up a more formal mechanism of engagement to tackle climate issues, according to the people.
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