The president’s special climate envoy, John Kerry, warned Thursday that the global transition to green energy is not happening fast enough.
Nations around the world must accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to green energy in “large quantities” to avoid potential future human and financial impacts of climate change, Kerry said at an event hosted by The Washington Post. . The senior Biden administration official specifically noted that renewable sources and electric vehicles need to be rolled out at a significantly higher rate than they currently are.
“We can’t run and do a bespoke deal here, another bespoke deal there — it’s just not going to be fast enough,” Kerry remarked at the event. “So everything has to speed up and by huge amounts.”
“We need to deploy renewables six times faster than today. We need to deploy electric vehicles 20 times faster than today if you want to keep Earth temperatures at 1.5 degree rise” , he added. “Why does it matter? Because every tenth of a degree above 1.5 takes you into what scientists would say is really dangerous, uncharted territory that is much more expensive to manage.”
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The United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has urged world leaders to take action to prevent the Earth from warming more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The panel warned that failure to prevent warming from exceeding this level could lead to cataclysmic impacts around the world.
Since President Biden nominated him to be the State Department’s first-ever presidential special envoy for climate in early 2021, Kerry has engaged with leaders at the UN and other global climate conferences. to negotiate policies aimed at preventing global warming. He has repeatedly backed an aggressive shift to green energy like wind and solar in a bid to rapidly reduce carbon emissions.
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“Every economic analysis of this challenge shows very clearly that it is much cheaper to invest now, to get ahead, than to wait when you pay trillions of dollars,” Kerry continued Thursday.
“If you think supply chains have been interrupted by Covid, wait until you see what happens when 100 million people move to Africa because they can no longer live there, they can no longer produce of food, that there is not enough water and that it is too hot,” the climate envoy said. “We are seeing indicators of this in various parts of the world.”
Most recently, Kerry led the US delegation to the COP27 UN climate summit in Egypt last month. During the conference, Kerry met with other world leaders, said the Biden administration had “run” to tackle climate change and promised further action.
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“Almost two years ago this very week, President-elect Biden asked me to be his special climate envoy. It was a perilous time,” Kerry said during his closing statement at the 20 november. “The world was hurtling towards climate chaos. Any hope of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius was getting further and further away.”
“We’ve been racing to make up for lost time ever since – from day one, when President Biden joined the Paris Agreement, and with our updated Nationally Determined Contribution. He’s been full steam ahead to take on the climate crisis – both at home, and in partnership around the world.”
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