Biden’s climate plan ‘is not a counterattack on China’: John Kerry

John Kerry, Presidential Special Envoy for Climate, speaks during a press conference in the James S. Brady Press Conference Room at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021.

Stefani Reynolds | Bloomberg | fake images

No country can solve the climate crisis, and the US pursuit of more research and development on climate change is not a counterattack for China, Biden administration climate envoy John Kerry told CNBC on Sunday.

“No nation can solve this problem by itself, impossible. Each of us needs everyone else at the table to make this happen,” Kerry told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble in Abu Dhabi after concluding the Regional Climate Dialogue of the United Arab Emirates, during which he made a renewables tour. energy facilities in the oil-rich Gulf state.

These are China, the United States, India, Russia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Australia, a lot of countries that are emitting quite a considerable amount, the United States and China, the majority.

John kerry

United States Envoy for Weather

President Joe Biden has made fighting climate change a key priority of his administration. Its clean energy measures, which include public funding for electric vehicles (EV), millions of additional electric vehicle charging ports and remodeling of buildings and homes, aim to achieve the long-term goal of net zero emissions by 2050, the White House has said.

And his massive $ 2 trillion infrastructure proposal, if signed into law, would be one of America’s largest federal efforts to stop its greenhouse gas emissions.

The plan would see the US invest $ 35 billion in clean technologies and spend $ 174 billion on overhauling the country’s electric vehicle market. But that still pales in comparison to what China has spent on clean energy research and development in recent years.

China’s R&D spending rose 10.3% to $ 378 billion in 2020, outpacing the United States, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China. China also accounts for around 30% of the world’s CO2 emissions, more than double that of the US.

When asked if that worries him, Kerry said no.

“No, I’m not worried in the least, because President Biden has a plan,” said former Senator and Secretary of State for Barack Obama.

“I think this is a great economic opportunity, not just for the United States with people all over the world,” he said. “It is not about China, it is not a counterattack against China. It is about China, the United States, India, Russia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Australia, a group of countries that are emitting quite a considerable amount, the United States and China is the most “.

Kerry added that the United States and China account for almost 45% of all global emissions.

Adding Europe to the list represents half of the world total. Europe is arguably ahead of China or the United States in its attempt to curb climate change.

“Therefore, three entities must work together with many other countries to get serious about reducing emissions and addressing this historic moment,” said Kerry.

The only area of ​​cooperation?

“We will continue to need gas, certainly for a period of time, oil for a transition period,” Kerry added. “We have to transition [away from fossil fuels] here. No one can pretend that you can just wave a magic wand and boom, overnight, suddenly you’re going to have renewable energy everywhere. ”

China and the United States continue to disagree on numerous issues, particularly on trade, human rights, intellectual property and technology.

The US delegation led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken (C) and flanked by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (R), clash with their Chinese counterparts at the opening session of the US-China talks at the Captain Hotel Cook in Anchorage, Alaska, on March 18. , 2021.

Frederic J. Brown | Reuters


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