John Kerry, President Biden’s climate change envoy, wraps up high-level talks with Chinese officials on Wednesday aimed at finding ways to work together on climate change despite simmering tensions between the two world powers.
The United States and China are the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters as well as the world’s green tech powerhouses. If they can agree to speed plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, it could be consequential for the world’s ability to stay within safe limits of global warming.
But there are significant hurdles, including longstanding tensions over China’s insistence that it is a developing country that should have more leeway to pollute, and U.S. efforts to challenge China’s dominance in clean technology manufacturing. In recent years, Chinese officials have also warned that broader disputes in the bilateral relationship, which Beijing has blamed largely on the United States, will undermine cooperation on combating climate change.
Here are some figures that illustrate the complex energy relationship between the United States and China.