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Raising the stakes: US sends Kerry to Lima for climate talks

Kerry will travel to the climate talks in Lima, Peru, say US officials, raising the profile of the climate talks before they conclude Friday.

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Members of the international confederation Oxfam hold a banner with a message for representatives meeting at the upcoming climate talks, on the grounds of the Huaca Pucllana archaeological site, in Lima, Peru, Nov. 29.

Rodrigo Abd/AP

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The United States is putting an extra focus on UN climate talks by sending an unusually high-ranking official to the sessions in Peru: Secretary of State John Kerry.

US officials in Washington confirm Kerry is expected in Lima on Thursday, the penultimate scheduled day of negotiations. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss his travel before it is publicly announced.

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Kerry was instrumental in forging a deal with China last month by the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases. China set a target of 2030 for its emissions to peak, marking its first commitment to combat climate change.

The Lima talks are meant to produce a draft for a hoped-for agreement in Paris a year from now, but little progress has been reported.