Kerry warns countries are taking time to eliminate carbon and challenges China to move away from coal


“I have no doubt that the wealthiest nations will eventually achieve a zero carbon or net (zero) carbon economy,” Kerry said. “But I do not believe – not at all – that we will get there in time to avoid a deeply disturbing fundamental change in the nature of our planet, and to enable the potential of millions, millions of people to survive. ”

Kerry made his remarks, which organizers said were recorded last week at a US-Japan Council event with Japan’s Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi.

Kerry Spent Tuesday in Japan, where he met with Koizumi and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to discuss Japan’s plan to transition to a net-zero economy by 2050 and cut its emissions by 46% (relative to its 2013 levels) by 2030. Japan announced its 2030 target in April after pressure from the US and other countries. Biden was announced in April The US will cut emissions by 50-52% from 2005 levels by the end of the decade.
Kerry’s Asia talks are a key part of his ongoing climate diplomacy ahead of the crucial November united nations climate conference in Glasgow. The most important part of the Glasgow talks will try to get the world’s countries on a path to limit emissions so the planet sees 1.5°C of global warming. The world is hovering around 1.1°C, and recently UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report Said that 2 degrees of warming or more would mean catastrophic climate consequences.

Underscoring the seriousness of the climate crisis and the fact that more countries still need to make bold climate pledges, Kerry said that even if both the US and Japan go carbon neutral “by tomorrow” However, we still have a big problem. He said the US and Japan are part of a group of countries that have committed to keeping the climate neutral by 2050, leading to drastic reductions over the next decade.

“Fifty-five percent of global GDP is committed to routes that can keep 1.5 degrees alive,” Kerry said, referring to 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming. “The problem is, we don’t have the other 45% yet. Join us in an effort to use the meeting in Glasgow to get China, India, Russia, South Africa, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil… Should be. The next 10 years.”

Kerry and his team will be in China from Wednesday to Friday, where they will face an even tougher challenge. China is the world’s top emitter of greenhouse gases, accounting for 27% of global emissions in 2019 (the US is second with 11% of global emissions). China has said that it will get net zero emissions The goal is to peak emissions by 2060 and before 2030.
Kerry will meet with his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua to continue the discussion, with the aim of committing China to end its coal use and to stop the construction of coal power plants abroad.

“China will have to push its peak timeline to ensure the world has a fighting chance of 1.5C, not long before 2030, ideally by 2025,” Li Shuo, a climate analyst at Greenpeace in China, told CNN. “It calls for more action now.”

Speaking at the US-Japan Council, Kerry said China can decarbonize faster, and the country’s huge investment in renewable energy shows it can move away from coal.

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

Biden’s climate envoy also said the US needs to make good on its commitments and talked about the need for the US to improve its infrastructure and invest heavily in renewable energy, which he calls a “huge role” of climate solutions. component”.

Kerry nods a bipartisan infrastructure bill it’s between the president top priorities, which will upgrade the US electrical grid. This week, Hurricane Ida severely damaged portions of power grids in Louisiana and Mississippi, leaving more than 1 million homes and businesses without electricity.

“In the US, we have different grids — one on the east coast, one on the west coast, one in Texas itself,” Kerry said. “But there’s a big hole in the middle of our country where we – the country that went to the moon, invented the internet, made vaccines – we can’t send a simple electron from California to New York. That’s stupid. It’s crazy.” Is.”

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