US, Egypt launch joint working group ahead of UN climate change summit
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry have kicked off the first meeting of a joint climate working group between the two nations amid Kerry’s trip to Cairo.
According to the State Department, the group will have two focuses: one on this year’s COP27 climate summit, which is slated to take place in Egypt in November, and another on “bilateral cooperation on a range of mitigation and adaptation-related issues.”
The countries agreed to establish the group last year.
Kerry also delivered remarks on Monday at American University in Cairo.
During his speech, the former secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee emphasized a focus on implementation of climate goals, or what he called “implementation plus.”
“What does this mean? It means delivering on existing commitments, strengthening commitments that are not strong enough, and creating new commitments and efforts where none exist,” he said, according to a copy of his prepared remarks.
But the push comes amid uncertainty as to whether the U.S. can actually achieve its own climate commitments, as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has resisted passing the Biden administration’s social and climate spending bill despite expressing openness to climate action.
Kerry nodded to this, saying “we hope” to pass legislation that would invest $500 billion in combating climate change, per the prepared remarks.
And he challenged countries’ use of natural gas — a fossil fuel that contributes fewer climate-warming emissions than coal when it’s burned, but still adds to climate change.
“Unless fully abated, new natural gas capacity will lock in decades of new emissions when we should all be focusing on deploying abundant and cheap clean energy,” his remarks stated.