U.S. Special Envoy for Climate meets with European counterpart in Brussels
The upcoming UN Climate Summit in the Scottish city of Glasgow should kick off a decade of action to tackle the environmental crisis, US President’s Special Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry said Tuesday at the European Union’s headquarters in Brussels.
“The moment has come. Glasgow is the last and best opportunity we have and the best hope that the world will unite and continue to develop the Paris accords, ”said Kerry, referring to the 2015 climate agreement.
“Scientists tell us that this decade, from 2020 to 2030, should be a decade of action,” he added.
Under the Paris Agreement, some 200 countries have pledged to take action to stop the rise in global temperatures to levels that would avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
However, the countries with the most harmful emissions fall short of this goal. The United States ranks second in the world in terms of emissions, the European Union is third.
On Tuesday, Kerry and European Commissioner for Combating Climate Change Frans Timmermans will discuss how the US and EU can convince other countries with high greenhouse gas emissions to set more ambitious environmental targets. The deadline for setting these goals is November 2021, when the UN climate summit will take place.
According to Kerry, the remaining eight months before the summit is a critical time for the whole world.
Last week, China announced a five-year plan that analysts say will lead to more emissions in the country. India, Japan, Russia and Brazil are also facing calls to accelerate emission reductions.
The EU has already raised its targets. In December, the bloc’s 27 countries agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.
The United States plans to announce its targets next month. EU officials and environmental organizations want the US to commit to cutting emissions this decade by at least 50 percent from 2005 levels.