Kerry Concedes Upcoming Climate Talks Are Likely to Fall Short of the Target Level for Emissions Cuts

‘Some countries just don’t have the energy mix yet that allows them to do that’

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(Via The Associated Press)

KNICKMEYER: “Hi, Secretary Kerry.”
KERRY: “Hi, Ellen. How are you?”
KNICKMEYER: “Good to see you.”
KERRY: “Good to see you.”
UNKNOWN FEMALE: “You can go and sit down there in the conference room.”
KERRY: “Oh, great. How are you doing?”
KNICKMEYER: “I’m good.”
KERRY: “[indecipherable]”
KNICKMEYER: “Secretary Kerry, thank you very much for sitting down with ‘AP’ to speak in the last couple weeks before you head off to Glasgow.”
KERRY: “Happy to be with you, thank you.”
KNICKMEYER: “At Glasgow, do we have to see China, make some big surprise announcements of emissions cuts for the for Glasgow to actually succeed?”
KERRY: “I think you’d be great if China were to do that, I think, I think the measurement of success in Glasgow will be the total picture of countries stepping up and raising ambition, across the board. We will have a gap between what we need to do to get to one point keep the 1.5 degrees. To the credit of the United States, Canada, Japan, the U.K. and the EU. We have all put forward plans that do keep 1.5 degrees alive. It would be wonderful if everybody came and everybody hit the 1.5 degrees mark. That would be terrific. But some countries, just don’t have the energy mix yet, that allows them to do that. But, I’m betting on the fact that a lot of nations are going to step up who have said they’re going to step up. I think we’re going to have the largest raising of ambition that we’ve ever seen. I don’t know the full measure of it yet. There are countries that we’re working with. Still, I’m going to Mexico in a few days, I’m going to Saudi Arabia. They’re going to step up and make an announcement. Russia is going to make an announcement. So, we have a lot of things to still come across the transom. And that will decide sort of where we are overall and which countries have neglected to do what is responsible.”
KNICKMEYER: “That’s China so far, are you —“
KERRY: “I’m not talking about any specific country yet. There is time in the next weeks for countries to put in their — their plans. But I am saying that by the time Glasgow is over we’re going to know who is doing their fair share and who isn’t.”
KNICKMEYER: “So, if — if the U.S. is unable to get its substantive climate legislation through Congress?”
KERRY: “Well, that obviously would hurt. I mean, if the United States can’t do some of the things that are necessary to make the transition, clearly that would be harmful. But I hope and pray that the Congress is going to be able to pass essential elements of what President Biden has put forward. The United States right now is helping to lead the charge here to effect this transition. And — and it would be like President Trump pulling out of the Paris Agreement again. We have rejoined. We’re there. The president held a summit. We are now on track to be able to achieve the holding of the Earth’s temperature increase to the 1.5 degrees. And we really need to step up and make it happen. And I hope Congress is going to do that.”
KNICKMEYER: “Thank you so much for talking.”
KERRY: “I’m happy to talk. Thank you so much for talking, for being able to talk.”

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