US energy secretary challenges China to be leader on climate

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry says he hopes China will step forward to be a "real leader" on climate issues, while refuting criticism that the United States is backing down.

President Donald Trump's decision last week to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement has sparked speculation that China could take the lead on climate change.

Perry, en route to a meeting of energy ministers in Beijing, said in Tokyo on Monday that he hopes China will attempt to take the mantle away from the U.S.

But he also said that the United States is not stepping back from its role as a leader in cleaning up the climate.