Climate change

Macron hosts US envoy Kerry in Paris to relaunch climate cooperation

United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry speaks during a joint press conference with French Economy and Finance minister Bruno Le Maire, Wednesday, March 10, 2021 in Paris. On Tuesday, John Kerry traveled to Brussels to relaunch transatlantic cooperation with European officials in the wake of President Joe Biden's decision to rejoin the global effort to curb climate change.
United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry speaks during a joint press conference with French Economy and Finance minister Bruno Le Maire, Wednesday, March 10, 2021 in Paris. On Tuesday, John Kerry traveled to Brussels to relaunch transatlantic cooperation with European officials in the wake of President Joe Biden's decision to rejoin the global effort to curb climate change. AP - Francois Mori

US Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry has visited Paris as part of a trip to relaunch Washington's commitment to the fight against climate change. Earlier, Kerry made similar pledges to EU leaders in Brussels, following a visit to London for talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. 

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"Developed countries, which emit the majority of the world's greenhouse gases, have every capacity to meet the challenge posed by climate change," Kerry said at a news conference in Paris with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

His visit comes in the wake of US President Joe Biden's decision to rejoin the global effort to curb climate change.

Le Maire said France was "very happy" about the U.S. decision, telling reporters that climate issues are the "main challenge of our generation and future generations."

Paris climate accord

The 2015 Paris climate accord commits countries to put forward plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Kerry also mentioned the international summit planned by the US, set to host 20 of the world's top polluters, ahead of November's United Nations Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow.

Those nations will discuss measures to restrict global warming to no more than "1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) or as close as we can get to that," and "make sure that we leave the pathway to 2050 net zero as a real option."

Scientists say time is running out to reach that goal because the world has already warmed 1.2 degrees Celcius since pre-industrial times.

Brussels

Before his visit to Paris, Kerry was in Brussels to relaunch trans-Atlantic cooperation with European officials in the wake of President Biden's promised return to the Paris Agreement, undoing the US withdrawal ordered by predecessor Donald Trump.

Kerry was welcomed by the EU Commission vice-president in charge of climate action, Frans Timmermans, for discussions focusing on the next UN climate summit, taking place in Glasgow in November. He also held talks with von der Leyen and other EU officials during a weekly commission meeting on trans-Atlantic climate action.

Kerry began his tour in London, where he met UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other senior figures to help planning the upcoming Glasgow summit.

Kerry praised the UK for plans to gradually phase out the use of coal, and for its "ambitious" climate goals.

(with AP)

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