John Kerry 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

U.S. local weather envoy John Kerry has issued a stark warning on local weather change, saying the struggling caused by the Covid pandemic can be “magnified many times over in a world that does not grapple with, and ultimately halt, the climate crisis.” He referred to as on China to do extra.

In a speech Tuesday in London, Kerry sought to emphasize the magnitude of the problem going through the planet.

“The climate crisis, my friends, is the test of our times,” he mentioned. “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.”

The former U.S. secretary of State is due on Thursday to attend a G-20 ministerial assembly in Italy targeted on the surroundings, local weather and vitality.

In his speech, he additionally confused the necessity for geopolitical cooperation, acknowledging that “no country and no continent alone can solve the climate crisis.”

Regarding China, Kerry famous that “a foundational building block” of its development had stemmed from “a staggering amount of fossil fuel use,” and he referred to as on Beijing to step up when it comes to reducing emissions.

In a remotely delivered deal with to the United Nations General Assembly final September, Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country was targeting peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060.

Kerry mentioned China wants 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 mentioned.  

“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 purpose refers to the 2015 Paris Agreement, which goals to “limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.”

World leaders will collect for the COP26 local weather change summit in Glasgow, Scotland, scheduled for Nov. 1 to 12. It’s seen as a vital occasion, with many hoping it would act as a catalyst for governments to step up their local weather ambitions so as 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 mentioned.

While there may be an undoubted sense of urgency about COP26, actuality reveals simply how large a problem attaining climate-related targets might be within the years forward.

On the identical day that Kerry made his speech, the International Energy Agency mentioned just a few governments’ restoration spending in response to the Covid pandemic has been allocated to clean energy measures.

The IEA’s evaluation notes that as of the second quarter of this 12 months, the world’s governments had put aside roughly $380 billion for “energy-related sustainable recovery measures.” This represents about 2% of restoration spending, it mentioned.

In a press release issued alongside its evaluation, the IEA defined simply how a lot work wants to be accomplished to meet climate-related targets.

“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 mentioned.

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

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