The US will push for climate progress at the 2023 APEC summit in San Francisco

The US will push for climate progress at the 2023 APEC summit in San Francisco


Asia-Pacific leaders will gather in San Francisco in November 2023 with climate at the top of the agenda, Vice President Kamala Harris announced on Saturday, marking the occasion for a rare US visit by the Chinese president Xi Jinping.

Harris, originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, announced the week of November 12, 2023 for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit as this year’s meeting in Bangkok drew to a close.

“There is no better place to host APEC 2023 than California, a state known for its economic innovation,” Harris said.

She said President Joe Biden’s administration will focus the summit on sustainability and moving the economy off-carbon as part of the fight against climate change.

“We will promote economic growth and prosperity for the American people and people throughout the Indo-Pacific region,” she said, using a different term for Asia-Pacific.

During the Bangkok talks, Harris urged leaders to prepare new targets to reduce emissions from the energy sector in time for next year’s summit, a US official said.

She also proposed an APEC-wide target to reduce methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases released from oil and gas exploration and agriculture.

The official said Harris asked for specific commitments because most APEC nations already have longer-term goals to reduce emissions responsible for climate change.

Founded in the 1980s, APEC focuses on trade issues rather than political issues and each year provides an opportunity for the leaders of the 21 members to meet on the sidelines.

This year’s APEC forum came immediately after a G20 economies summit in Bali, where Xi met Biden in their first meeting as heads of state.

Harris also spoke with Xi at the APEC summit, part of a renewed effort by the world’s two largest economies to keep tensions from spiraling out of control.

Xi last visited the United States in 2017 and met then-President Donald Trump at his Florida estate, but relations between the two countries later deteriorated sharply over trade, Taiwan, human rights and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Russia is also an APEC member, but unlike Xi, the United States has made it clear it will not deal with its President Vladimir Putin as usual after he ignored warnings and invaded Ukraine in February.

The United States previously announced that APEC foreign ministers will meet in Seattle next year and that trade representatives will meet in Detroit.

The United States last hosted APEC in 2011, when then-President Barack Obama invited executives to his native state of Hawaii.

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