Blinken drew a rosy picture of U.S. commitments to address the crisis, such as e.g. Biden has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for half by 2030. But he also acknowledged that these are “voluntary commitments” and “we’re not there yet, we have a lot of work to do.”
“If the world now, between the present and the end of this decade, does not do everything necessary to keep us at 1.5 degrees Celsius, then no matter what our commitments for 2050 are, we will not get there, ” he said.
In a statement just before the COP26 conference, the G-20 leaders ended its summit in Rome with an agreement take steps to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Blinken also identified the phasing out of fossil fuels as a potential challenge in combating the climate crisis. He said the US is demanding an agreement “to ensure that countries do not fund coal projects internationally” and that “you will see that we start turning this around” once those countries take practical steps to achieve that goal. . .
“This is one of the biggest emission factors worldwide. Completing funding for these projects will have a serious impact on tackling climate change, ”he said.
Blinken specifically called on China, the world’s largest greenhouse gas polluter, to “accelerate and do the right thing” in completing funding for coal projects. He emphasized that their own people, as well as the international community, would benefit from this commitment – “to the extent that China cares about how it is seen in the world”.
“It’s not a favor to anyone. This is deeply in the interest of their people and it is in the interest of people all over the world, ”Blinken said.