Time is growing short to forestall the long-term effects of global climate change. The Paris Agreement of 2015 was a start in the right direction, calling on its nearly 200 signatory countries to limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels, by limiting their carbon emissions. Upon entering office, President Biden immediately took action to have the United States rejoin the Paris Agreement. But “Paris does not alone get the job done,” said Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry:
“And we're not doing all that we set out to do in Paris. So, this is the moment where countries, common sense governments, people to come together and get the job done.”
In early March, Special Presidential Envoy Kerry, representatives of the European Union and of the United Kingdom met in London, Brussels, and Paris to renew their alliance and work closely together to deal with the climate crisis. All three parties pledged to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050 and resolved to help the world’s most vulnerable adapt and respond to climate impacts.
“There are no better partners than our friends here in Europe and the EU,” said Special Presidential Envoy Kerry:
“It is important for us to align ourselves now, … because no one country can resolve this crisis. It will take every country and it will be more than governments. It will take the civil society of our states, communities, our nations, and it will take the private sector, importantly.”
Tackling climate change is an expensive proposition, said Special Presidential Envoy Kerry, but investing in a clean economy creates jobs now and saves countries money. “Every single economic analysis makes it clear: it is more expensive for our citizens not to respond.” At the same time, “It's also a moment of the greatest opportunity that we've had since perhaps the industrial revolution, to build better: To renew ourselves in our economies, which is an extraordinary moment economically, where there will be new products, new technologies, whether it's carbon capture or battery storage or hydrogen fuel, run the list. Those are the solutions to the crisis that we face.”
“Common sense dictates--this is the moment,” said Special Presidential Envoy Kerry. “We can do it. We have many of the technologies today and many, many countries are working… companies are working very hard to develop the technologies we know we need. This can be done.”