10 May 2022

John Kerry says Putin has not wrecked Glasgow Climate Pact

10 May 2022

Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has not wrecked the Glasgow Climate Pact agreed at Cop26 but has presented a “challenge” to it, according to US climate envoy John Kerry.

Mr Kerry said the Russian president had spurred on Europe to increase its renewable energy by using gas supplies as a weapon.

The former US secretary of state spoke to the BBC for a podcast called No Hot Air.

The Glasgow Climate Pact called on countries to phase down unabated coal power and inefficient fuel subsidies as part of action on climate change.

John Kerry said Europe is going to try to deploy renewable energy, such as wind, much faster than originally planned (PA) (PA Wire)

Asked if the Russian president had wrecked the Glasgow Pact, Mr Kerry said: “He hasn’t wrecked it but he’s presented a challenge to it.”

He continued: “What Vladimir Putin has done by using gas energy as a weapon, is to convince Europe that it has to move faster.

“So, in fact, Europe is going to try to move to deploy renewable energy – wind, solar, etc – much faster than they originally had planned.

“The key will be finding greater levels of finance on an international basis to accelerate the transition to those renewables so that investment begins to move there faster.”

China’s investment in new coal plants “remains a problem”, he said, though the country’s agreement to reduce its methane output is a “big deal”.

We need to be living up to the promises that we've made

Mr Kerry said it was still possible to limit the increase in global temperatures to 1.5C, though this would not completely eliminate the impacts of the climate crisis.

He said: “We need to get to work.

“We need to deploy far more renewables. We need to be accelerating research and development. We need to be living up to the promises that we’ve made.

“We still can do that, and we have to get about the business of enforcing it.”

Mr Kerry also said the UK and Glasgow did a “spectacular job” of hosting the Cop26 summit amid the pandemic.

Asked if he had tried haggis or Irn-Bru, he laughed and said: “I did and I found a favourite restaurant and we had a few brews and it was really wonderful.

“Got to Edinburgh for an afternoon and enjoyed enormously being there, it was great.”

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