John Kerry, America’s top climate official, stated Tuesday that progress was being made by the U.S., China, and other countries in forming a group to reduce greenhouse gas emissions quickly.
Kerry spoke to The Associated Press at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Kerry stated that the two countries, which are the largest emitters of greenhouse gasses, were close together on how the group would be structured and how decisions would take place.
Kerry stated that Kerry was going to focus on practicalities to help reduce emissions. "Maybe technology can be used to speed up China's progress. Perhaps China could help us understand certain things better.
The agreement was reached at the U.N. Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland last year. China has agreed for the first time to clamp down on methane leaks. This is a potent greenhouse gas. Kerry stated Tuesday that the group would also focus on reducing coal consumption.
As government officials, corporate leaders, and other elites at The World Economic Forum struggled to address climate change and its devastating consequences, the progress report was released. The central question was how oil and gas companies can be part of the transition to lower-carbon fuels.
The question could have been academic at one time. But the forum critics in the Swiss Alps would argue that the forum's location in a small village in the Swiss Alps has no relevance to the real world. Today, however, the question is urgent and practical as many countries who depend on Russian oil and gas have had to make rapid changes in their energy supply.
As climate change continues to have devastating effects on our lives, the debate is a timely one. Recent examples include heat waves in Southeast Asia and flooding in South America. The world's most prominent climate scientists warn that increasing investment in fossil fuels is hurting our chances of keeping warming under 1.5 C (2.7 F) and avoiding even more catastrophic effects.
Kerry, Fatih Birol, the head of the International Energy Agency and several European officials, argued Tuesday that war in Ukraine shouldn't be used to distract from renewable energy goals.
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, warned that the bloc of 27 nations should not be dependent on untrustworthy states, just as it was with Russia's fossil fuels.
She stated that the "economies for the future" won't rely on oil or coal but will instead rely on green and digital transitions such as lithium, silicon metal, or rare earth permanent magnetics, which are needed to make batteries, chips, or electric vehicles.
She said, "We should not fall into the same trap that we did with oil and gasoline." "We shouldn't replace existing dependencies with new ones."
Von der Leyen said that the conflict in Ukraine has strengthened Europe’s resolve to quickly get rid of Russian fossil fuels. While the EU has approved an embargo against coal imports from Russia, member countries have not yet reached a deal regarding sanctions on Russia's oil or gas.