US local weather chief rails at Asian coal as geopolitical tensions shadow UN summit

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US local weather envoy John Kerry has railed at new coal manufacturing in Asia that “wipes out” carbon emissions reductions from Europe and the US, the most important historic polluters, as geopolitical tensions stay excessive following the UN local weather summit in New York.

While nation negotiators try to hammer out preliminary agreements to be mentioned on the UN COP28 local weather summit in Dubai in 10 weeks, a visibly pissed off Kerry instructed ministers at a breakfast assembly that he felt “increasing anger” over “what is going on, and what is not going on”.

“What infuriates me, frankly, and I find myself getting more and more angry about this — but we are not stopping at a broad enough scale the contributions to the problem, and by that I mean emissions are going up,” Kerry instructed the ministers from assembled nations. “People continue to plan and build and burn unmitigated, unabated fossil fuel.”

Kerry mentioned the dimensions of coal energy growth deliberate in Asia would make it “impossible to achieve 1.5 degrees” in international temperature rise since pre-industrial instances, set down below the Paris accord as the perfect restrict. The world has already warmed by at the very least 1.1C.

Treemap showing plants in development by capacity, global (GW)

The former US secretary of state additionally lashed out at “fundamental, basic greed” from firms. “I keep hearing from certain corporations ‘well, shareholders are demanding this’, and despite all of the consequences we are not yet doing what we said we would do.”

Kerry and his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, formally reignited bilateral local weather talks between the US and China earlier this summer season. Chinese chief Xi Jinping pledged in 2020 that China would attain peak emissions by 2030 and be “carbon-neutral” by 2060.

Solar and wind predicted to lead the renewables charge. Chart showing renewable capacity additions, including main and accelerated forecasts (GW). China will dominate the renewable landscape over the next five years, increasing capacity by more than the US and Europe combined. It also shows that solar and wind will be the main drivers of this surge.

While China is the world’s largest producer of renewable power capability and dominates photo voltaic and wind know-how, additionally it is consuming file quantities of coal to fulfill its power wants. International Energy Agency knowledge exhibits that China and India set month-to-month data for coal power manufacturing in March 2023 and burnt 70 per cent of the world’s coal.

In a coinciding speech to diplomats in China on Thursday, Zhenhua mentioned it was “not realistic to phase out all fossil fuels”. However, he added that carbon seize know-how could possibly be used to decrease the emissions when fossil fuels are burnt. The know-how isn’t confirmed at scale, though China is trying its personal improvement at numerous oilfields.

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China has persistently pissed off discussions at multilateral conferences of main developed economies searching for to attain consensus on ending the reliance on fossil fuels, together with at latest G7 and G20 chief conferences.

At COP28, negotiators from nearly 200 international locations, together with the US and China, might want to co-operate to achieve agreements on the so-called international stocktake on emissions, the primary for the reason that Paris accord in 2015, and seal preparations for a fund for loss and injury associated to local weather change.

Some negotiators are hoping to incorporate wording and a timeline for the tip of fossil fuels, and upgraded targets for past 2030 within the closing COP28 settlement, regardless of the numerous pushback from petrostates and fossil gas producers.

Additional reporting by Alice Hancock

Climate Capital

US climate chief rails at Asian coal as geopolitical tensions

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