Carolyn Kaster, Associated Press
In this Oct. 24, 2014 file photo, Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the State Department in Washington. The United States is putting an extra focus on U.N. climate talks by sending an unusually high-ranking official to the sessions in Peru: Secretary of State John Kerry.

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

U.S. 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.

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.