John Kerry points warning over local weather, calls on China to step up on emissions cuts


John Kerry offers a speech on the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London on July 20, 2021.

TOLGA AKMEN | AFP | Getty Images

The United States’ local weather envoy John Kerry issued a stark warning on Tuesday, claiming that the struggling led to by the Covid-19 pandemic can be “magnified many times over in a world that does not grapple with, and ultimately halt, the climate crisis.” 

In a speech delivered in London, Kerry — who on Thursday is because of attend a G20 ministerial assembly in Italy targeted on the surroundings, local weather and vitality — sought to emphasise the magnitude of the problem going through the planet.

“The climate crisis, my friends, is the test of our times,” he stated. “And while some may still believe it is unfolding in slow motion, no, this test is now as acute and as existential as any previous one.”

Former Secretary of State Kerry additionally confused the necessity for geopolitical cooperation, acknowledging that “no country and no continent alone can solve the climate crisis.”

Turning to China, Kerry famous that “a foundational building block” of its development had stemmed from “a staggering amount of fossil fuel use” and known as on it to step up when it got here to slicing emissions.

In a remotely delivered deal with to the United Nations General Assembly final September, Chinese President Xi Jinping stated his nation was focusing on peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by the yr 2060. For his half, Kerry claimed China wanted to do extra.

“As a large country, an economic leader and now the largest driver of climate change, China absolutely can help lead the world to success by peaking and starting to reduce emissions early during this critical decade of 2020 to 2030,” he went on so as to add.  

“The truth is there’s no alternative, because without sufficient reduction by China, together with the rest of us, the goal of 1.5 degrees is essentially impossible.”

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The aim referenced by Kerry refers to 2015’s Paris Agreement, which goals to “limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.”

Later this yr, world leaders are set to assemble for the COP26 local weather change summit in Glasgow, Scotland. It’s seen as a vital occasion, with many hoping it is going to act as a catalyst for governments to step up their local weather ambitions with a view to meet the targets set out within the Paris accord.

“Glasgow is the place, 2021 is the time and we can, in a little more than 100 days, save the next 100 years,” Kerry stated.

While there may be an undoubted sense of urgency about COP26, the truth on the bottom reveals simply how large a problem attaining climate-related objectives will likely be within the years forward.

On the identical day that Kerry made his speech, the International Energy Agency stated solely a small chunk of governments’ restoration spending in response to the Covid-19 pandemic had been allotted to scrub vitality measures.

The IEA’s evaluation notes that, as of the second quarter of this yr, the world’s governments had put aside roughly $380 billion for “energy-related sustainable recovery measures.” This represents roughly 2% of restoration spending, it stated.

In an announcement issued alongside its evaluation, the IEA defined simply how a lot work wanted to be finished to ensure that local weather associated targets to be met.

“The sums of money, both public and private, being mobilised worldwide by recovery plans fall well short of what is needed to reach international climate goals,” it stated.

Indeed, the Paris-based group is forecasting that carbon dioxide emissions will hit document ranges in 2023, with “no clear peak in sight.”


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