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Kerry calls for 'decade of action' on climate change

Kerry calls for 'decade of action' on climate change
© getty: John Kerry

U.S. climate envoy John KerryJohn KerryChina emitted more greenhouse gasses than US, developed world combined in 2019: analysis Overnight Energy: Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process| EPA official directs agency to ramp up enforcement in overburdened communities | Meet Flint prosecutor Kym Worthy Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process MORE called the November United Nations climate change summit in Glasgow the “last, best opportunity” to expand on the framework of the Paris Climate Agreement in Tuesday remarks at the European Union.

“This is the moment. Glasgow is the last, best opportunity that we have and the best hope that the world will come together and build on Paris,” Kerry said in Brussels, according to Reuters. The former secretary of State added that research indicates “this decade, 2020 to 2030, must be the decade of action.”

Kerry and his EU counterpart Frans Timmermans are set to discuss how to persuade other parties to the climate agreement, many of whom have not lived up to their emissions commitments, to reduce pollution. The November meeting is the cutoff date for such pledges.

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"We have no better partners than our friends here in Europe and the EU, it is important for us to align ourselves now, which is what we will discuss today, because no one country can resolve this crisis," Kerry said, according to The Associated Press. "It will take every country."

The EU, the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter nationwide, increased its commitments under the agreement in December, with the 27 member states agreeing to reduce emissions by at least 55 percent by the end of the decade. The U.S. will announce its own commitment in April. China, meanwhile, has announced a five-year emission-reduction plan that climatologists have said would result in overall higher emissions.

Climatologists have said the U.S., the second-largest overall emitter, must actively cooperate in efforts to reduce emissions to meaningfully prevent warming of less than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. In his remarks, Kerry warned the goals of the 2015 agreement would by itself be sufficient to prevent irreversible consequences.

"Paris does not alone get the job done," he said. "The scientists tell us: This decade, 2020 to 2030, must be the decade of action."