The White House is motivated to meet its climate agenda
America is motivated to meet their greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, despite the recent unfavourable Supreme Court ruling, John Kerry, the Biden administration’s climate envoy, told AFP on Friday.
“We are determined to achieve our goals. We can achieve them,” he said of these official commitments, the day after a decision by the very conservative U.S. Supreme Court that severely limits the powers of the federal state in the fight against global warming.
“Of course, it would help if we had a majority on the U.S. Supreme Court that really understood the gravity of the situation and would be more likely to try to help rather than somehow put roadblocks in the way,” the top diplomat said.
Joe Biden, who returned to the Paris climate agreement left by his predecessor Donald Trump, announced in April 2021 that the United States would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent by 2030, compared to 2005.
The American president submitted these new commitments to the UN in order to get closer to the objectives of the 2015 Paris Agreement, where John Kerry was in charge of diplomacy for Barack Obama.
On July 1, China, the world’s largest emitter, called for every country to stick to the commitments of the Paris agreement.
The spokesman for the UN secretary-general had said on Thursday, June 30, that the Supreme Court’s decision was a “step back” in the fight against climate change, “when we are already far behind in achieving the goals of the Paris agreement.”
On Thursday, June 30, the nation’s highest court ruled that the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could not issue blanket rules to regulate emissions from coal-fired power plants, which produce nearly 20 percent of the electricity in the United States.
“I’m convinced — and our lawyers are looking at this more closely — that this decision leaves enough room to do a lot of things we need to do” against climate change, John Kerry explained in an interview with AFP, however.
“No one, not a bank, not a private lender, is going to finance a new coal plant in the United States,” he hammered. “Coal is the worst fuel in the world”.
For the future, “I think the president must think about all possible options”, he added, while some Democratic members of parliament are calling on the president to declare a state of climate emergency.
On Friday, June 30, however, the Biden administration opened the way for new oil and gas permits in the country.