US climate envoy John Kerry said on Tuesday that island countries face a ‘beyond existential’ situation due to climate change as he calls for an end to fuel subsidies fossils and the financing of coal-fired power stations.
The 20 countries responsible for most of the world’s emissions had a “special responsibility” to act, Kerry said – but warned they were not going “in the same direction” or quickly enough.
“When I talk to some of the island state leaders, they don’t just look at adaptation and resilience, they think about where they’re going to go,” Kerry said at a virtual seminar at the Bank’s annual meeting. Asian Development Company based in Manila.
“It is beyond the existential. “
Kerry, the former secretary of state who became President Joe Biden’s global climate envoy, said “adequate funding” was essential to achieve the goal of controlling warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times – the aspiration defined in the Paris Agreement to avoid the most severe effects of climate change.
But he said the nations were moving too slowly.
“We all know what we need to do here. I hate to say it, but we’re sort of making progress, we’re not really doing it, ”he warned.
“Emissions are rising, we’re on the wrong track – people are rebuilding from Covid like there’s no reason to think differently. ”
Kerry’s remarks came less than two weeks after Biden doubled down on U.S. ambitions to cut greenhouse gas emissions, putting the country back on the climate front.
Asian Development Bank President Masatsugu Asakawa told the seminar that the Asia-Pacific region – which includes China, the world’s biggest polluter – is responsible for around 50% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse.
As the coal, oil and gas market rebounds this year, he warned that more than 80% of the expected growth in demand for coal will come from Asia.
“Without decarbonizing energy systems, the goals of the Paris Agreement will be out of reach,” he said.
Kerry called on banks to stop funding coal projects and put in place a framework to “phase out other investments in fossil fuels” and support countries’ transition to “net zero” emissions.
He also said fossil fuel subsidies should be abolished around the world – including the United States.
“You have to create incentives for the right behavior, not the bad behavior,” he said.
© 2021 AFP