By Mathew Carr
March 31, 2021 — LONDON: The U.S. special climate envoy John Kerry said some nations have more responsibility for the climate crisis and so will have different policies to address it.
He didn’t name his own country the U.S., which is most responsible for the climate crisis yet has only 4% of the world’s population. But he did mention America didn’t really want to be “scolding” other nations.
Kerry said leaders needed to engage in less “happy talk” on climate action and should begin ambitious programs to cut emissions and adapt to warmer temperatures.
The effectiveness of the 2015 Paris climate deal was at stake.
“I am a veteran of the fights over common but differentiated responsibility; that was part of what we fought over in Paris. Paris is a monument to differentiation, because every country wrote its own plan.
“Some countries are resisting, despite the fact we are looking at the biggest job market the world has ever known. Four-to-five billion today are users of energy. It will go up to 9 billion in the next 30 years. This is the greatest economic opportunity we’ve ever had, to build our countries.”
He was speaking at IEA’s net-zero summit.
“Will it be the same plan for everybody? No. Do we respect that there are differentiated responsibilities? Yes. But we can’t just willy nilly ignore the next 10 years.”
(Arguably, that’s what the U.S. did during the past four years under President Donald Trump.)
“My plea is for all of us to avoid the happy talk, recognize that this challenge is global. We can do it. That’s what’s exciting.”
(Updates with Kerry comments)