The United States and China have said they are "committed to cooperating" on the pressing issue of climate change.

The two countries have issused a joint statement following a visit to Shanghai by the US climate envoy, John Kerry.

The statement from Mr Kerry and China's special envoy for climate change, Xie Zhenhua, said: "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."

Mr Kerry, the former US secretary of state, was the first official from President Joe Biden's administration to visit China, signalling hopes the two sides could work together on the global challenge despite strong tensions on multiple other fronts.

The joint statement listed multiple avenues of cooperation between the US and China, the world's top two economies which together account for nearly half of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.

It stressed "enhancing their respective actions and cooperating in multilateral processes, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement."

Mr Biden has made climate a top priority, turning the page from his predecessor Donald Trump, who was closely aligned with the fossil fuel industry.

The US president has rejoined the 2015 Paris accord, which Mr Kerry negotiated when he was secretary of state and committed nations to taking action to keep temperature rises at no more than 2C above pre-industrial levels.

Speaking on Sky News, Mr Kerry said the US has a "duty" to rejoin the Paris Climate agreement.

He told Sky's Sophy Ridge On Sunday: "Well, it's the US's duty certainly to return to the Paris Agreement, as President Biden has done, and to work with other nations to do the maximum possible.

"I can assure you that the United States will do its part to help keep us on track to have a 1.5 degree rise - the limit, that's our goal, and then to head to 2050 where we would be net zero, and we hope that other nations will join us to raise the ambition to be able to hold that 1.5 degree limit on the increase of Earth's temperature."

The former secretary of state added: "Even if the United States went to zero tomorrow, if the UK did or Europe, the fact is that China - which is almost 30% of the world's emissions, other countries - Russia, Indonesia, Japan - there are a lot of industrialised countries that are contributing to this challenge."

Mr Kerry also apologised for the US becoming a "renegade" in tackling climate change under Mr Trump.