Testifying in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday morning, former Secretary of State and Biden Climate Czar John Kerry was pressed on the Chinese Communist Party's use of slave labor to make and sell solar panels to the rest of the world. Kerry said the abuse and genocide of the Uyghurs, who are forced to build the panels, is a "problem," but said climate change must be addressed through "clean" sources of energy.
"How can you assure us, this quest that we're on [clean energy] that slave labor coming out of China where genocide is taking place as we speak, are never a part of the climate solution in the United States?" Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-TX) asked.
"It is a problem. Xinjiang province not only produces some of the solar panels that we believe are being, in some cases produced in forced labor by Uyghurs, but also there are a significant amount of rare earth mineral that are used in the solar panel themselves," Kerry said. "Nothing can be traded and I've made that very clear. President Biden has made it very clear. Climate is existential for everybody on the planet. We have to deal with it and because China is nearly 30 percent of emissions on that planet China has got to be a bigger part of the solution, not the problem."
When Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ) followed up, Kerry then said he has not raised the issue of slave labor with China's climate change envoy.
"That's not my lane. My lane is very specifically is to try and get the Chinese to move what we need to do with respect to climate itself," Kerry said.