Major emitters need to step up and lower emissions: Kerry

·3-min read

Washington, Feb 20 (PTI) As the United States officially joined the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, US Special Envoy on Climate Crisis, John Kerry asserted that all 17 major emitting countries including India need to step up and begin lowering emissions.

“Everything has to be done with greater sense of urgency, with a determination that we have to win this fight... and we need the United States and every country to determine they will get on a path toward net zero emissions by 2050,” he said on Friday.

A major achievement of the Obama administration, the previous Trump Administration had withdrawn from the Paris Agreement. President Joe Biden, who served as the Vice President during the Obama administration, issued orders to join the Paris Agreement on day one of his presidency.

“… what steps will we take in the next 10 years? And the truth is that everybody has to do that. China, which is the largest emitter in the world needs to be part of the 2020 to 2030 effort.

“India needs to be part of it. Russia needs to be part of it. So is Japan… the major emitters, 17 nations, need to really step up and begin to lower those emissions,” Kerry said.

This challenge, he asserted, means that all countries setting bold and achievable targets have to do so here at home and in the course of their declaration of their national determined contributions (NDCs).

“We have to drive investment toward climate solutions and innovations and resilience. We need to get the entire world on a path towards net zero emissions, and we need to absolutely make certain that happens no later than 2050 and sooner if possible,” he said.

“Ultimately keeping alive the possibility of limiting the planet's warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is critical because we now know that anything more than that will have catastrophic implications around the globe,” Kerry said.

The UN Climate Conference, COP 26 will take place in Glasgow in November. “I believe that Glasgow is our last, best hope to get the world to pony up, to deliver, to get us on a safer path. To determine that we will do the things necessary in the next decade to keep alive the prospect of limiting the earth's temperature rise to 1.5 degrees and we will keep alive--in fact create a better vision for what we can do by 2050 with net zero,” he said.

In his remarks, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said green economy is much more job creator than the brown economy of the past.

“If we invest in renewable energy, if you invest in greening our transportation systems, if we invest in greening our agriculture, if we invest in greening all the areas of our economy, we will be creating lots of jobs,” he said.

Most of those jobs will benefit young people who have access to new technologies and knowledges of the 21st century, he noted. “But we need at the same time to look into a just transition. We need to make sure that we look at those who will lose their jobs because their activities will phase out. As it is the case already for many other reasons namely because of technology evolution,” he added.

The world, he asserted, needs the drastic reduction in emissions in the next decade.

“We need to get to net zero in 2050. The scientific community has told us that if the two things are achieved we will be able to keep the temperature below 1.5 degrees of growth at the end of the century,” he added.

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