US rejoining international climate effort with humility after wasting 4 years: Kerry

·2-min read

New Delhi/Davos, Jan 27 (PTI) The US is rejoining the international climate effort with 'humility and ambition' after wasting four crucial years, John Kerry, the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, said on Wednesday.

The Biden administration last week decided to re-enter the Paris Agreement, from which former US President Donald Trump had exited.

Speaking at a panel discussion on 'Mobilizing Action on Climate Change' during the World Economic Forum's week-long online Davos Agenda Summit, Kerry said, 'Humility, because we know we have wasted four years in which we were inexcusably absent. Humility, knowing that today almost no country and for certain, no continent is getting the job done.' But the US is also re-entering with ambition, knowing at the COP (Conference of the Parties) meeting in Glasgow in November, all nations have to raise their sights together or we all fail together, he added.

In the same panel, Alok Sharma, president of COP26 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said, 'We are in a fight for the very survival of our planet, for humanity, for nature, for biodiversity.' 'It's a matter of trust and countries have to deliver. But it's not just public finance, we have to get private money into tackling climate change,' he added.

As per estimates, the year 2020 has tied with 2016 for the hottest year on record -- despite the favourable effects of pandemic-related lockdowns on emissions.

'The sense of urgency is literally all around us,' Kerry said, referring to the tragic wildfires that have ravaged Australia recently, the increased intensity of which has largely been attributed to climate change.

'President Biden is totally committed to this fight,' he said.

Kerry, however, warned that domestic action is not enough, because the whole world has to come to this table to solve the problem.

Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General at United Nations, emphasised the importance of giving young people more of a voice in what happens, not only in terms of advocacy but also 'at the helm of affairs, in the decision making.' The chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently warned that the pandemic has been 'a foretaste of what climate change could do to our society.' Under the worst-case scenario, average temperatures from June-August could regularly top 38 degrees Celsius or 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit in many parts of the world by the end of this century. PTI BJ BJ ABM ABM