- Countries aim to limit global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius
- Scientists have warned that crossing threshold could be disastrous
- Shift to clean mode of energy can help reduce carbon emissions: US Envoy
Washington: U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said on Wednesday (December 1) that big greenhouse gas emitting countries like China, India, Russia and others must move faster to help the world avert the worst impacts of global warming. Pledges by governments to cut carbon dioxide and methane emissions are currently insufficient to limit global warming to an international target of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels this century, he said.
And that means you have China, India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, South Africa, a group of countries that are going to have to step up. And we have to help them. This is not just unloaded responsibility on them, Mr Kerry said in an interview at the Reuters Next conference.
Mr Kerry said Washington was engaging with some of these developing countries to help them accelerate a transition to cleaner forms of energy and reduce emissions.
He pointed to U.S. support for India’s clean energy initiatives, as well as a joint agreement the United States secured with China, the world’s top greenhouse gas emitter, last month in which Beijing committed to accelerating emissions cuts.
Developing nations have been resisting calls to rapidly phase-out fossil fuels like coal, arguing they are still needed for economic growth.
These governments say they lack the financial support required to transition to cleaner energy. And they point out that wealthy nations responsible for the bulk of historical emissions have been able to rely on these high-carbon fuels for more than a century.
Mr Kerry told Reuters that private investment in clean-energy technologies – including green hydrogen, long-term battery storage, modular nuclear reactors and carbon capture – was also crucial to addressing climate change.
No government on the planet has enough money to effect this transition … But, the private sector does have that money. I believe the private sector has the ability to win this battle for us, he said.
He said companies that are first to the market with technological breakthroughs should be able to benefit financially through patents.
Intellectual property has been a controversial issue for developing nations keen to keep down the costs of transitioning from fossil fuels.
World governments agreed last month during a climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, to revisit their national emission-cutting pledges in 2022 to help ensure the world can meet the 1.5C target set by the Paris Agreement in 2015.
Scientists have warned crossing that threshold could unleash catastrophic climate impacts from sea level rise to more frequent powerful storms, droughts and floods.
Mr Kerry said he was worried whether countries and private entities would meet the challenge.
This is an enormous lift – to do what we have to do,” he said. But he added: “This is doable. It doesn’t have to be frightening.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.