China and the United States agree that stronger pledges to fight climate change should be introduced before a new round of international talks at the end of the year, the two countries said in a joint statement on Sunday.
The statement came after a meeting between Chinese climate envoy Xie Zhenhua and his US counterpart, John Kerry, in Shanghai on Thursday and Friday, China's environment ministry said.
"The United States and China are committed to cooperating with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis," their joint statement said. The two countries will continue to discuss "concrete actions in the 2020s to reduce emissions aimed at keeping the Paris Agreement-aligned temperature limit within reach."
Kerry arrived in Shanghai on Wednesday night under tight COVID-19 protocols and was transferred to a secluded hotel not open to the public. He subsequently travelled to Seoul.
His stop in Shanghai was the first high-level visit to China by a Biden administration official since the new president took office, and followed a contentious exchange between officials from the two countries in March in Alaska.
The talks also mark a resumption of climate dialogue between the world's two biggest greenhouse gas emitters. Bilateral discussions ground to a halt during the administration of Donald Trump, who withdrew from the 2015 Paris agreement after claiming it unfairly punished US businesses.
The United States is expected soon to deliver a new pledge to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions in a bid to win back trust from foreign allies. Biden brought the United States back into the Paris climate accord.
Li Shuo, senior climate adviser for the environmental group Greenpeace, said China could soon respond to a new US pledge with one of its own, building on the "momentum" of the Shanghai talks.