US and Russia co-ordinate before UN climate conference

John Kerry and Ruslan Edelgeriyev issue joint statement

US climate envoy John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Ruslan Edelgeriyev, on Thursday agreed to coordinate on scaling back carbon emissions before the UN climate conference in the UK in November.

Following Mr Kerry’s trip to Russia, the two climate envoys issued a joint statement noting that they both “recognise the need to address the increasing climate challenge with seriousness and urgency”.

The joint statement provided no details on specific commitments from either side but represented the latest salvo in US President Joe Biden’s bid to secure robust commitments to reduce carbon emissions from US allies and adversaries alike before the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow.

“They are committed to the robust implementation of the Paris Agreement and its temperature goals, including through significant efforts in this decade and the global pursuit of net-zero emissions, recognising the importance of enhancing carbon sequestration by forests and other ecosystems,” the joint statement noted.

“They will work together and with others to actively promote a successful Cop26 in Glasgow, UK, and a G20 that contributes to such success. In addition, they will co-operate on climate-related issues in the Arctic.”

Mr Biden re-entered the 2016 Paris climate accords, which former president Donald Trump withdrew from, shortly after taking office this year. He also convened a virtual climate summit at the White House in April with 40 world leaders where he vowed that the US would cut carbon emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2030.

However, the White House has provided few specifics on how it will reach that goal, particularly with much of Mr Biden’s legislative proposals to boost the green energy sector tied up in Congress amid Republican opposition.

Mr Kerry has said the Biden administration believes it can meet the president’s ambitious target by executive order and through collaboration with the private sector.

In the joint statement, Mr Kerry and Mr Edelgeriyev said that the US and Russia “also intend to work together bilaterally on a range of climate-related issues".

“Topics will include, among others, satellite monitoring of emissions and removals of greenhouse gases; forests and agriculture‎; climate and the Arctic, including black carbon; reducing emissions from non-CO2 gases, including methane; enhanced nationally determined contributions and long-term strategies under the Paris Agreement; energy efficiency; climate finance; nature-based solutions; and implementation of joint climate projects.”

Updated: July 15th 2021, 5:52 PM