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Kerry warns nations are running out of time to decarbonize and challenges China to move away from coal

“I have no doubt that wealthiest nations ultimately will get to a zero carbon or net (zero) carbon economy,” Kerry stated. “But I’m not convinced — not at all — that we will get there in time to avoid profoundly disturbing fundamental transformation in the nature of our planet, and the capacity of tens of millions, hundreds of millions of people to be able to survive.”

Kerry delivered his remarks, which occasion organizers stated had been recorded final week, just about at a US-Japan Council occasion alongside Japan’s Minister of the Environment Shinjirō Koizumi.

Kerry spent Tuesday in Japan, the place he met with Koizumi and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to talk about Japan’s plan to transition to a net-zero financial system by 2050 and to minimize its emissions 46% by 2030 (relative to its 2013 ranges). Japan introduced the 2030 objective in April, after strain from the US and different international locations. Biden had introduced in April the US would minimize emissions 50-52% relative to 2005 ranges by the tip of the last decade.
Kerry’s Asia talks are a key piece of his ongoing local weather diplomacy within the run-up to the essential November United Nations local weather convention in Glasgow. The most important piece of the Glasgow talks will likely be making an attempt to get the world’s nations on a pathway to cap emissions, so the planet sees 1.5 levels Celsius of world warming. The world is hovering round 1.1 levels Celsius, and a current UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report stated that getting to 2 levels of warming or extra would imply catastrophic local weather penalties.

Underscoring the severity of the local weather disaster and the truth that extra nations nonetheless want to make bolder local weather pledges, Kerry stated that even when the US and Japan each went carbon impartial by “tomorrow, we still have an enormous problem.” He famous the US and Japan are half of a bunch of international locations who’ve dedicated to going local weather impartial by 2050, making steep cuts within the subsequent decade.

“Fifty-five percent of global GDP is committed to pathways that could keep 1.5 degrees alive,” Kerry stated, referring to the 1.5 levels Celsius of world warming. “The problem is, we have the other 45% not yet there. China, India, Russia, South Africa, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil … must join with us in the effort to use the meeting in Glasgow to adopt a plan for the next 10 years.”

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Kerry and his crew will likely be in China from Wednesday by means of Friday, the place they face a extra daunting problem. China is the world’s high emitter of greenhouse gases, making up 27% of world emissions in 2019 (the US is second at 11% of world emissions). China has stated it is going to get to internet zero emissions by 2060 and is aiming to peak its emissions earlier than 2030.
Kerry will meet together with his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua to proceed discussions, with the goal of getting China to part out its coal use and commit to cease constructing coal energy crops abroad.

“China has to move its peaking timeline much earlier than 2030, ideally by 2025, to ensure the world a fighting chance for 1.5C,” Li Shuo, a local weather analyst with Greenpeace in China, informed CNN. “That demands more action now.”

Speaking on the US-Japan Council, Kerry stated China can decarbonize quicker, and that the nation’s huge funding in renewable vitality demonstrates it may well move away from coal.

“The upper-level leadership of China needs to take steps that are entirely doable,” Kerry stated. “We’re not asking China to do something that’s impossible. Some of it’s hard, but it’s not out of reach. China has been bringing massive amounts of coal-fired power online in the last few years.”

Biden’s local weather envoy additionally stated the US wants to make good on its commitments and spoke in regards to the want for the US to enhance its infrastructure and closely spend money on renewable vitality, which he known as a “gigantic component” of the local weather answer.

Kerry nodded to a bipartisan infrastructure invoice that’s among the many President’s high priorities, which might improve the US electrical grid. This week, Hurricane Ida severely broken half of the ability grid in Louisiana and Mississippi, leaving over 1 million properties and companies with out electrical energy.

“In America, we have individual grids — one on the East Coast, one on the West Coast, one in Texas all by itself,” Kerry stated. “But there’s a big gaping hole in the middle of our country where we — the nation that went to the moon, invented the internet, has created vaccines — we can’t send a simple electron from California to New York. That’s stupid. It’s insane.”



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