The U.S. and China, the world's two biggest polluters, announced Sunday that they will cooperate to combat climate change.

John Kerry, President Joe Biden's climate envoy, and Chinese climate envoy Xie Zhenhua agreed on this collaboration in Shanghai ahead of Biden's virtual climate summit this week. 

"The United States and China are committed to cooperating with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the seriousness and urgency that it demands," read the joint statement.

The two sides have agreed to reduce their own national admissions, as well as to financially aid developing countries to switch to low-carbon energy. Another goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to keep global temperatures below 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. 

China's greenhouse gas emissions in 2016 accounted for 26% of total global emissions, while the U.S. accounted for 13%. The European Union was third at 7.8% and India was fourth at 6.7%.

 

Li Shuo, Greenpeace China Senior Climate Policy Office, said he was encouraged by the efforts between the U.S. and China.

"It sends a very unequivocal message that on this particular issue [China and the U.S.] will co-operate. Before the meetings in Shanghai this was not a message that we could assume,” Li told Reuters news agency.

This news also comes before Biden’s climate summit on April 22 to 23, where he’s invited 40 world leaders. The leaders are expected to announce more plans on carbon emission cutting and gaining more pledges from countries that want to financially help nations less fortunate. 

The U.S. rejoined the Paris Agreement on Biden's first day in office. His recent infrastructure plan includes $174 billion to boost the electric vehicle market as well as $100 billion to update the electric grid.

Biden has pledged that within 14 years the country will be switched to an emissions-free power sector and to be entirely emissions-free by 2050.

China President Xi Jinping said in September that China would strive for “carbon neutrality” by 2060.

Global leaders are expected to take more serious efforts to battle climate change. According to the World Resources Institute, global annual greenhouse gas emissions have grown 41% since 1990. 

US envoy John Kerry is in India for climate change discussions US envoy John Kerry is in India for climate change discussions Photo: AFP / -