The White House has signaled that Mr. Biden will announce more ambitious plans to reduce emissions domestically, after four years during which his predecessor, Donald J. Trump, despised the issue.
“We’ve seen commitments where everyone is missing before,” Mr. Kerry said. “I mean, honestly, we’re all missing. The whole world is missing now. This is not a finger-pointing exercise of one nation alone. “
Mr. Kerry met in Shanghai with his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, for three days, in talks that were once late at night. Mr Kerry said they had focused on climate change and had not touched on increasingly fierce disputes over issues such as China’s political repression in Hong Kong and its threats to Taiwan.
On Friday, even as the two envoys met, the State Department sharply criticized prison sentences given in Hong Kong to prominent pro-democracy leaders, including Jimmy Lai, a 72-year-old journalist. On the same day, China warned the United States and Japan against “collusion,” as Mr. Biden met at the White House with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, with China’s growing ambitions one of the main issues.
Chinese officials and the state news media noticed Mr. Kerry’s visit but remarkably downplayed it, focusing instead on Mr. Xi’s meetings. But in the joint statement with the United States, the Chinese government promised to do more about climate, albeit without detailing any specific steps.
The statement said both countries would develop “long-term strategies” to achieve carbon neutrality – the point when a country emits no more carbon than it removes from the atmosphere – ahead of the next international climate conference in November, in Glasgow.
In a joint statement after the White House meetings between Mr Biden and Mr Suga, the US and Japan said they intend to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 by promoting renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and storage, and by innovations in capturing and recycling carbon from the atmosphere.