US climate envoy John Kerry warned that if the earth is to avoid climate “chaos”, China must reduce emissions during this decade, because he issued a rigorous assessment that the world has not fulfilled its climate promises.
In his policy speech at Kew Gardens in London on Tuesday, Kerry specifically mentioned China and said that unless the world’s largest emitter changes its target, the world will “impossible” to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Kerry said: “There is no choice, because without China’s adequate emission reductions, the 1.5 degree target is basically impossible.”
He added that the cooperation between the United States and China on climate issues is “the only way to get rid of the current world mutual suicide agreement.”
Kerry said in a speech before the G20 Environment Ministers Meeting in Italy on Thursday that all major economies need to start reducing emissions by 2030. He urged other G20 countries to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, a goal that some people oppose.
China, which accounts for 28% of global annual emissions, has pledged to reach its peak emissions by 2030, but did not specify when or how much it will decline. The United States is the world’s largest cumulative emitter.
Kerry said the construction of coal-fired power plants in China is “disturbing.” He pointed out that if Beijing cannot reach its peak emissions by 2030, then the rest of the world will have to achieve zero emissions by 2040. He said this goal is “impossible.”
During the London heat wave, Kerry addressed the audience gathered in the sultry greenhouse: “Although we are here to talk about the greenhouse effect, we don’t want to put you in the greenhouse.”
In the context of the downturn in US-China relations, cooperation on climate issues is one of the few areas where the two are roughly the same, which makes Kerry’s sharp remarks extraordinary.
As abnormal weather events have brought damage to both rich and poor countries — floods in Germany have claimed hundreds of lives — the effects of climate change have already begun to show.
“We have seen the serious consequences of the 1.2 degree warming,” Kerry said. “Considering doubling is incurring disaster.”
The former U.S. Secretary of State also called for “wartime mobilization” of resources to deal with the crisis, calling it “a huge opportunity to rebuild the economy after a historic pandemic.”
The United States withdrew from the Paris climate agreement under President Donald Trump, but rejoined earlier this year after his successor Joe Biden took office.
Prior to the COP26 climate negotiations in Glasgow in November, the United States was under pressure to increase its contribution to climate finance to help developing countries cope with the impact of climate change.
The Biden administration has also been working hard for Climate policy Through the US Congress, it is not clear how the US will achieve its goal of reducing emissions by at least 50% by 2030.
One issue that may further divide the United States and China is the carbon border tax, which is a policy Get more and more attention Among the Democrats in the Senate in Washington.
After the EU announced its proposal Carbon boundary adjustment mechanism Last week-which will impose taxes on steel, cement and fertilizer imports from countries with no carbon pricing-the United States is considering whether to follow suit.
“We are not saying that every country must, will or can do the same thing,” Kerry said. “But every country can do enough.”