Kerry: US to Work With China on Climate Change
Secretary of State John Kerry toured a factory in Beijing Saturday and announced a new joint partnership with China to work on curbing emissions and output of greenhouse gases that trap solar heat in the atmosphere. (Feb. 15)
ā Tim Kovach (@twkovach) February 16, 2014
Joe Romm (ClimateProgress) adds: Secretary of State John Kerry gave perhaps his strongestĀ climate speechĀ in Indonesia Sunday. He called climate change the āworldās most fearsomeā weapon of mass destruction and said āthe science of climate change is leaping out at us like a scene from a 3D movie. Itās warning us; itās compelling us to act.ā
At the same time, aĀ must-read new analysisĀ by Oil Change International finds that āall of the scenarios used by the State Departmentā in their Final Environmental Impact Study (EIS) of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline āresult in emissions that put us on a path to 6 degrees C (11Ā°F) of global warming according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).ā Talk about mass destruction!
The U.S. has a serious shot at hitting the 2020 target of a 17 percent cut in CO2 emissions from 2005 levels that Obama made for the 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen ā a target embraced in his Climate Action Plan (but utterly ignored by Stateās EIS). That requires the President to embrace strong emissions reductions fromĀ existing coal-fired power plants. But letās not pretend that target is either especially hard to hit or scientifically meaningful (see āDeveloped Nations Must Cut Emissions In Half By 2020, Says New Studyā).
That is to say, the fact Kerry can go to the other big emitters and commit to meeting Obamaās pledge is a necessary minimum condition to achieve a climate agreement, but it is not sufficient. He needs some moral standing. He needs to be able to demonstrate to the world the U.S. understands that far deeper cuts are needed post-2020Ā and that means not sticking new spigots into huge, dirty carbon pools like the tar sands.
Kerry needs to show that his words are more than words, that he actually believes climate change is the most fearsome WMD. Kerry must recommend to Obama that Keystone be killed.