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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.

Go deeper

What the initial UN Climate Summit attendance list reveals

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The UN Climate Summit set to begin Oct. 31 in Glasgow will bring an unprecedented combination of leaders for such an event (even Pope Francis!), and the likely absence of vital players — notably Chinese President Xi Jinping. 

Why it matters: The speeches and backroom meetings at COP26 between leaders on the summit's first two days will set the tone for the rest of the gathering. These will be moments when countries showcase any new pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet the Paris Agreement's targets.

UN climate summit faces serious roadblocks

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

When world leaders hold a climate summit in Glasgow in November, success will revolve around two issues that have sunk or slowed past negotiations:

  • How to help developing countries transition to clean energy and how to respond to "loss and damage" — the devastation caused by climate change.

Obama to attend UN climate summit in Glasgow

Former President Barack Obama speaks during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Obama Presidential Center at Jackson Park in Chicago on Sept. 28. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP

Former President Barack Obama will travel to Glasgow next month for the UN climate summit, CNN reports.

Driving the news: Obama will meet with young climate change advocates and "urge more robust action going forward by all of us — governments, the private sector, philanthropy and civil society," according to an Obama spokesperson, per CNN.