MILAN (AP) — US climate envoy John Kerry said, Saturday, he thinks “enormous progress” can be made at the upcoming UN climate talks in Scotland but more governments must come up with concrete commitments in the next 30 days.
Kerry attended a preparatory meeting in Milan where delegates from around the world sought to identify where progress can be made before the UN climate change starts in Glasgow on Oct. 31.
The 12-day summit aims to secure more ambitious commitments to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius with a goal of keeping it to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. The event also is focused on mobilizing financing and protecting vulnerable communities and natural habitats.
“The bottom line is, folks, as we stand here today, we believe we can make enormous progress in Glasgow, moving rapidly towards the new goals that the science is telling us we must achieve,’’ Kerry said. That means achieving a 45% reduction in carbon emissions in the next 10 years.
“This is the decisive decade,’’ Kerry said.
Kerry, a former US senator and secretary of state, said that countries representing 55% of the world’s gross domestic product — Britain, Canada, Japan, the United States and the 27 European Union members — have submitted plans that hit the 1.5 degrees target by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
But the American diplomat also noted that the 89 new national submissions ahead of the summit would only cut emissions by 12%, and that the sum of all 191 submissions as they are currently written would increase emissions between now and 2030 by 16%.
Kerry declined to single out any country but said there are ways to achieve lower emissions that aren’t that expensive, including organizing power grids and making transmissions more efficient.