World 'We've got to speed it up': US climate negotiator John Kerry discusses climate talks
Advocates fear US weighing climate vs. human rights on China
U.S. envoy John Kerry’s diplomatic quest to stave off the worst scenarios of global warming is meeting resistance from China, the world's biggest climate polluter, which is adamant that the United States ease confrontation over other matters if it wants Beijing to speed up its climate efforts. Rights advocates and Republican lawmakers say they see signs, including softer language and talk of heated internal debate among Biden administration officials, that China’s pressure is leading the United States to back off on criticism of China’s mass detentions, forced sterilization and other abuses of its predominantly Muslim Uyghur minority in the Xinjiang region.
Top White House climate negotiator John Kerry said in an interview with ABC News Live that every country needs to act to reduce emissions and addressfaster than ever before, especially after warnings the upcoming climate summit in November could be a failure if more countries don't increase their commitments to the Paris Agreement.
Kerry said Mother Nature "did a hell of a job whipping up enthusiasm to get something done" after theand record-high temperatures around the world this past year and said leaders are starting to feel the anticipation for the upcoming COP26 summit where countries will re-examine what they need to do to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees or 2 degrees Celsius.
John Kerry says we have 'tough choices' between climate change and ... genocide
John Kerry, the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, is torn. © Provided by Washington Examiner On the one hand, he said this week that the United States has a duty to speak out against China’s human rights abuses, including its genocide of the Uyghurs. Then again, Kerry added, the U.S. can't allow crimes against humanity to stand in the way of collaborating with China to fight climate change. Choices! Choices! Kerry’s remarks came this week amid a broader discussion with Bloomberg's David Westin.
"Every country has to go faster. None of us can say we're really fast," Kerry, the special presidential envoy for climate, said in an interview with ABC News Live. "There are very few countries, you can get them on one or two hands, that are in keeping with the Paris numbers."
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said there's a "high risk of failure" from the COP26 climate summit in November if countries don't drastically increase commitments to reducing emissions.
The latest report from the United Nations found the world is on track to warm an average of 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, failing the goals of the Paris Agreement and triggering consequences from global warming like more extreme heat waves, droughts that would increase impacts on agriculture in some parts of the world and intensifying severe weather events. Even with every country's current efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they're expected to increase 16% by 2030,.
Kerry: 'We can't get where we need to go' in climate fight if China isn't joining in
John Kerry, the special presidential envoy for climate, said the world "can't get where we need to go" in its climate fight if China does not join the effort.Kerry, during an interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday, pointed to China's high percentage of emissions as a reason why their cooperation is needed to become net-zero by 2050."I'm confident President Xi, President Biden will meet at some point, I don't know when, but I'm goingKerry, during an interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday, pointed to China's high percentage of emissions as a reason why their cooperation is needed to become net-zero by 2050.
"The 191 countries that have all put in their plans together, whether they've changed them, improved them or kept them the same, that 191 result in a 16% increase in emissions," Kerry told ABC News Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee.
"That is a big F -- that fails, it fails for everybody," he added.
Kerry was appointed to the role as special envoy for climate byto help re-establish the country's role as a leader in international climate negotiations after former President Donald Trump .
Kerry, who previously served as secretary of state under President Barack Obama and for 28 years as a senator, has traveled to countries like India and China, which generates about a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, to speak with leaders about increasing their commitments to reducing the use of fossil fuels.
Psaki contradicts John Kerry: 'Of course' Biden knew about France's submarine deal anger
White House press secretary Jen Psaki pushed back on comments by U.S. Special Climate Envoy John Kerry earlier this week suggesting that President Joe Biden was not aware of France's negative response to the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal. © Provided by Washington Examiner Fox News's Peter Doocy first broached the subject during Wednesday's White House briefing, asking Psaki, "What else are you guys not telling the president?" KERRY: BIDEN 'LITERALLY, LITERALLY' HAD NO CLUE ABOUT FRANCE'S AUKUS ANGER"Of course he was aware of the French being upset," Psaki responded. "I know John Kerry quite well.
During the U.N. General Assembly, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the country will stop financing new coal power projects abroad and will provide more financial support for developing countries to build renewable energy infrastructure. Kerry said that is a good start, but he acknowledged it sends a mixed message when the country continues to use fossil fuels and build new coal power plants inside the country.
"I think now there's a growing awareness in China," said Kerry, who recently returned from his second trip to speak with leaders there. "And I think President Xi is personally very invested in this issue. And my hope is that President Xi is going to help us all to come together around certain choices we can each make. It is possible that China could do more to peak earlier or to reduce coal."
Kerry said he understands frustration from climate activists like Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, whothat "whatever our so-called leaders are doing, they're doing it wrong."
John Kerry says emissions cuts are 'do-able' as ministers wrap last meeting ahead of COP26
US climate envoy John Kerry said Saturday that global targets to slash greenhouse gas emissions are "do-able," striking an optimistic tone at the end of final high-level meeting before the COP26 international climate talks in Glasgow next month. © John Minchillo/AP John Kerry at the UN General Assembly in New York on September 21. Kerry said the more than 40 ministers who attended the pre-COP26 event in Milan were "engaged" in discussions to make the Glasgow talks a success. Global leaders are expected to strengthen their commitments to addressing the climate crisis ahead of the Glasgow event.
"A lot of them have failed, but I think it's unfair. I think it's a little much of a reach to say that, 'so-called leaders,' there are a lot of real leaders around and they are trying very, very hard to move this process," he told ABC News.
Kerry said he understands Thunberg's frustration and anger, and he is also angry that some people are getting in the way of action on climate change.
"What we need to do is behave like adults and get the job done. And she's absolutely right to be pressing the urgency of our doing that. But there are leaders out there trying to get some things done, just too slowly in some cases, and we've got to speed it up," he said.
For more of ABC News Live's interview with John Kerry, watch "Year of Extremes" wherever you stream ABC News Live, airing Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 8:30 p.m. ET.
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.