No single country can solve the climate crisis – and the American drive for more research and development in the field of climate change is not an antithesis to China, the climate envoy of the Biden administration, John Kerry, told CNBC on Sunday.
“No nation can solve this problem on its own – impossible. Each of us needs everyone else at the table to achieve this,” Kerry told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble in Abu Dhabi after completing the UAE’s regional climate dialogue in where he dealt with renewable energies in the oil-rich Gulf state.
President Joe Biden has made tackling climate change a key government priority. Its clean energy actions – which include public funding for electric vehicles (EVs), millions of additional charging ports for electric vehicles, and retrofitting of buildings and homes – aim to meet the long-term goal of net zero emissions by 2050, which is the White House haunted said.
And its massive $ 2 trillion infrastructure proposal, if signed into law, would be one of America’s greatest efforts to curb its greenhouse gas emissions.
The plan calls for the US to invest $ 35 billion in clean technology and $ 174 billion to overhaul the country’s EV market. But that still pales in comparison to what China has spent on clean energy research and development in recent years.
China’s R&D spending rose 10.3% to $ 378 billion in 2020, outperforming the US, according to the Chinese Bureau of Statistics. China also causes around 30% of global CO2 emissions, more than twice as much as the US
When asked if this affects him, Kerry said it wasn’t.
“No, I’m not worried at all because President Biden has a plan,” he said. Kerry was Secretary of State under President Barack Obama when Biden was Vice President.
“I think this is a tremendous economic opportunity, not just for the United States with people around the world,” he said. “This is not about China, this is not about an antithesis to China. This is about China, the United States, India, Russia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Australia, a number of countries that emit a considerable amount , the United States and China most. ”
Kerry added that the US and China account for nearly 45% of all global emissions.
Adding Europe to the list makes up half of the world’s total. Europe has arguably made greater strides than China or the United States in trying to slow climate change.
“So three companies need to work with many other countries to seriously cut emissions and address this moment in history,” said Kerry.
The one area for collaboration?
“We will continue to need gas, certainly for a period of time, oil for a period of time in a transition,” added Kerry. “We have to pass [away from fossil fuels] Here. Nobody can pretend they can just wave a magic wand and be booming. All of a sudden, overnight you will have renewable energies everywhere. ”
China and the US remain at odds on a number of issues – particularly trade, human rights, intellectual property and technology.
The U.S. delegation, led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken (C) and flanked by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (R), will meet their Chinese counterparts at the opening session of the talks on March 18 at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska USA and China 2021.
Frederic J. Brown | Reuters