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Politics John Kerry Says Biden Admin Not Delivering on Climate Change 'Hurts' Negotiations Abroad

20:11  14 october  2021
20:11  14 october  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

The AP Interview: Kerry says climate talks may miss target

  The AP Interview: Kerry says climate talks may miss target WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. climate envoy John Kerry is tempering expectations for a U.N. climate summit sometimes billed as make-or-break for the Earth's future, conceding next month's talks likely will end with nations still short of the target of cuts in coal and petroleum emissions that are needed to stave off increasingly devastating levels of global warming. But in an interview with The Associated Press, Kerry also credited efforts by the United States, European Union, Japan and other allies ahead of next month’s climate negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland with getting the world much closer to the scale of big, fast fossil fuel cuts needed.

John Kerry said his work abroad has been hampered by the Biden administration's problems delivering on climate change promises in the United States.

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry said his work abroad has been hampered by the Biden administration’s problems delivering on climate change promises in the United States. In this photo, Kerry speaks onstage during the 2021 Concordia Annual Summit in New York on September 20, 2021 © Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Concordia Summit Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry said his work abroad has been hampered by the Biden administration’s problems delivering on climate change promises in the United States. In this photo, Kerry speaks onstage during the 2021 Concordia Annual Summit in New York on September 20, 2021

Kerry, the former secretary of state and now President Joe Biden's special envoy for climate, told the Associated Press that negotiations at an upcoming United Nations summit in Glasgow, Scotland may fall short of the global target for cutting fossil fuel emissions.

This is America’s last, best chance for decisive climate action

  This is America’s last, best chance for decisive climate action Democrats might never get another opportunity like this — and the planet certainly won’t. Democratic leaders are trying to pass two major pieces of legislation — the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and the up to $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act — that they say can slash US pollution by up to 45 percent in the coming decade.

As part of the 2015 Paris agreement, countries committed to curbing the increase in average global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

"It would be wonderful if everybody came and everybody hit the 1.5 degrees mark now," Kerry said. "That would be terrific. But some countries just don't have the energy mix yet that allows them to do that."

Kerry also said leaders "have to be honest about the gap" between the energy cuts nations promised and what is needed to limit warming to below 2 degrees Celsius.

When asked by the Associated Press if Biden administration's not delivering on climate policies affects his talks with foreign leaders, Kerry replied, "Well, it hurts."

"I'm not going to pretend it's the best way to send the best message," Kerry continued. "I mean, we need to do these things."

Thousands march in Brussels to demand tougher climate action

  Thousands march in Brussels to demand tougher climate action BRUSSELS (AP) — Thousands of people young and old marched through Brussels on Sunday to push world leaders to take bolder action to fight climate change at the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow starting this month. Some 80 organizations took part in the protest, aiming for the biggest such event in the European Union's capital since the start of the coronavirus crisis, which stopped the climate movement’s weekly marches in its tracks. Cyclists,Some 80 organizations took part in the protest, aiming for the biggest such event in the European Union's capital since the start of the coronavirus crisis, which stopped the climate movement’s weekly marches in its tracks.

Biden has set a 2030 target to cut U.S. emissions by half, compared to 2005 levels. But major legislation to tackle the climate crisis has stalled in Congress, where Democrats have a narrow majority in the House and Senate.

Biden's sweeping $3.5 trillion Build Back Better agenda—which includes landmark measures to transform the electricity sector to run on clean energy and to slash pollution by up to 45 percent— has hit a roadblock as lawmakers debate the contents and price tag of the reconciliation package.

Democrats are now aiming for a bill in the $2 trillion range, which means significant proposals will need to be cut.

Lawmakers have also yet to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill that would rebuild the electrical grid with a focus on clean, renewable energy. The legislation also includes billions of dollars for climate change protections.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he hopes Democrats will pass both the reconciliation package and the infrastructure bill by the end of October.

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Kerry likened congressional inaction on climate change to the consequences of former President Donald Trump pulling out of the Paris climate accord. But he said he was optimistic lawmakers will find a way to address the issue.

"I don't know what shape it'll take...or which piece of legislation, it'll be in, but I believe we're going to act responsibly," Kerry said.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment on Kerry's response but didn't receive a response before publication.

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