DUBAI: India, China, and Russia need to fully commit to reducing emissions in order for a global energy transition to happen quickly, US Special Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry said at a conference in Dubai.
Speaking at the Global Manufacturing and Industrial Summit, Kerry said there is “incredible movement” from global players, as well as the industrial sector, to address the climate crisis.
In the wake of the COP26 conference in Glasgow, which saw a last-minute change to an agreement diluting a pledge of “phasing out” coal to merely “phasing down,” the US statesman called for the three big economies to step up on tackling climate change.
“Today, we have countries that comprise 70 percent of the global GDP (gross domestic product) committed to reducing their emissions by half by 2030. So obviously, we still need that 30 percent, we have to get them on board,” he said, adding: “Trillions of dollars are definitely moving in the right direction towards climate action — and money is always going to change minds.”
On oil and gas, the American envoy said the transition to cleaner energy sources exists because there is demand.
“We need to phase coal out faster because you can’t sufficiently abate it — it’s creating the greatest warming on the planet,” Kerry said.
“Now, the question is: Will we transition fast enough to overcome the most devastating effects of climate change? Because, believe me, this is existential,” he added.
The comments were made on day two of the summit, where key government and corporate leaders are gathered to discuss topics including how to repurpose digitalization for prosperity.