Jul 20, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Kerry to press big nations for "meaningful absolute reductions" in emissions

John Kerry speaking at the White House.
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

John Kerry, President Biden's special climate envoy, today will press every major economy to commit to "meaningful absolute reductions" in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Why it matters: The comments, part of what's being billed as a "major policy speech" in London, provide a greater sense of the U.S. posture ahead of the critical U.N. climate summit this fall.

Quick take: Kerry's remarks are likely directed at major emitters including China, the world's largest, which thus far has pledged only to have an emissions peak before 2030.

What's next: Kerry will say there's still time to limit to global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels — the most ambitious goal of the Paris deal — but only with steep cuts this decade.

  • "That is the only way to put the world on a credible track to global net zero by midcentury," he will say, per excerpts shared by aides.
  • "We’re already seeing dramatic consequences with 1.2°C degrees of warming. To contemplate doubling that is to invite catastrophe," Kerry will say.
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