by Elaine Kurtenback via washingtontimes.com
No one person can roll back what’s happening in the climate sector, Kerry said, “because private companies have made major bets on the future and they’re not going to reverse them.”SAPPORO, Japan — So much has been invested in clean energy that there can be no rolling back of moves to end carbon emissions, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said Sunday.
Kerry noted that if countries deliver on promises to phase out polluting fossil fuels, the world can limit average global warming to 1.7 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), better than the worst case scenarios but still above the current limit of 1.5 C global warming above pre-industrial levels.
“We’re in a very different place than where we were a year ago, let alone two and three years ago,” Kerry said in an interview with The Associated Press.
“But we’re not doing everything we said we’d do,” he said, after attending a meeting of energy and environment ministers of the Group of Seven wealthy nations. “A lot of countries need to step up including ours to reduce emissions faster, deploy renewables faster, bring new technologies online faster all of that has to happen.”
Kerry said the G-7 talks in northeastern Japan’s Sapporo were “really constructive” in yielding a show of unity for phasing out use of unabated fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases.
A meeting Thursday of President Joe Biden’s Major Economies Forum, which includes leaders of 20 nations that account for more than three-quarters of global carbon emissions, offers another opportunity for committing resources to the goal of reaching zero emissions by 2050, Kerry said.
“The United States and all the developed world has the responsibility to help the developing world through this crisis,” he said. “Those countries will really determine what happens. If they will reduce, if they will take the lead, if they will start deploying the new technologies, if they will stop using unabated fossil fuels, we’ll up the chance of winning this battle.”
Kerry held out hope for cooperation with China on climate despite friction over Taiwan, human rights, technology and other issues, saying he had a “very good conversation” with his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, just days earlier.
“We agreed that we need to get back together personally, visit and try to see what we can find to work on together to accelerate the process. Is that doable? I hope so,” Kerry said.
The Biden administration has moved aggressively to entice companies to invest in electric vehicles and other cleaner energy technologies. While the U.S. still lags some other countries in use of EVs, the market is changing as consumer preferences evolve and manufacturers invest billions.
No one person can roll back what’s happening in the climate sector, Kerry said, “because private companies have made major bets on the future and they’re not going to reverse them.”