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John Kerry calls for global cooperation to tackle climate concerns and ensure COP28 success

Publish date: Thu, 30 Nov 2023, 09:26 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: The United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, has called for concerted efforts to address climate concerns and make COP28 a success.

He emphasised three main problems that will be discussed at the 28th annual United Nations (UN) climate meeting (COP28), including the global stocktake, the adaptation report, and the establishment of the loss and damage fund.

"At the time of the Paris (Agreement), the earth was warming by around 3.7 to four degrees Celsius. We're now down to about 2.5 to 2.7 degrees.

"We know from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that if all the promises of Glasgow were fulfilled, and all the promises of Sharm el Sheikh were fulfilled, we could be, by 2050, at either 1.8 to 1.7 degrees of warming on the planet," he said

"With the effort, things could be within grasp," he said in an online session with the media today.

Kerry pressed significant fossil fuel producers to endorse the gradual elimination of unabated fossil fuels.

"We still have people who have not signed up for that. Some of them are among the major fossil fuel producers, and they need to immediately step up and be part of the solution, not the most significant part of the problem.

"We look forward to working with the World Bank for some of the new finance structures that will make it much more possible to develop alternative renewable clean energy choices.

"So that countries are not stuck with only one option, fossil fuel. We think there are many more and better options in today's world," he said.

Kerry also said that the US and China were very conscious that the people wanted a safer world where energy was not weaponised.

"China is one of the largest emitters in the world, as ours is No.2. We have agreed to undertake specific steps in terms of the deployment of renewable energy to be able to foresee greater reductions in emissions as a result of that.

"The outcome from Sunnylands Statement is an important milestone in these efforts. We will continue these discussions in the next few days here in Dubai. And we intend to work hard to see if there is further collaboration that could advance the cause for all of us.

"If the US aggressively moves forward to reduce initiatives without China, we will not win this battle. We need to step up and get the job done at a faster rate," he said.

He pointed out that African nations, being the least contributor to the problem, however, were among those who took the hardest hit and bore an enormous crunch of the climate crisis.

"Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya have all faced extreme floods in the past two to three months, displacing thousands of people and taking lives.

"Those floods came on in the wake of the longest drought in the record, which left millions of people without secure access to food over the last three years," he said while anticipating the loss and damage fund would be very significant in addressing the needs of Africa.

World leaders will be gathering at Expo City, Dubai, from Nov 30 to Dec 12 for COP28 to discuss limiting and preparing for future climate change.

The COP28 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), hosted by the United Arab Emirates this year, will look at ways to set the global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celcius above the pre-industrial level, stipulated by the landmark Paris Agreement signed in 2015.

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