Kerry Engages with UAE, India, and China As Climate Summit Nears

Abu Dhabi’s Noor solar park, the largest solar field in the world          Photo: Noor Abu Dhabi

Special Presidential Envoy on Climate (or “SPEC”) Kerry is engaging with key nations this week in the run-up to the Global Summit in two weeks.  On Monday, he announced that the US and the United Arab Emirates would “focus our joint efforts on renewable energy, hydrogen, industrial decarbonization, carbon capture and storage, nature-based solutions, and low-carbon urban design.”  He was attending a regional dialogue in the UAE with climate officials from the UAE, Kuwait, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq, Jordan, Sudan, and Oman. While there, per Reuters, Kerry said he is hopeful about working with China on climate despite recent tensions between the Biden Administration and Beijing. In India yesterday he met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who reaffirmed his government’s commitment to its Paris pledges, including increasing its non-fossil fuel power capacity to 40% and substantially boosting forest cover to reduce CO2. Kerry visits Bangladesh today.

Why This Matters:  Kerry is using these visits to try to elicit elevated commitments from other major emitters — China and India.  No promises yet, but they are using the visits to make their points too.  For example, India’s Finance Minister met with Kerry and underscored the need for developed countries to abide by their $100 billion annual commitment in funding for developing countries.

In The UAE

The U.S. and the UAE issued a joint statement saying, “We will also cooperate closely to make new investments in financing decarbonization across both the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the wider international community and help the most vulnerable adapt to the inevitable effects of climate change,” said the statement, which was attributed to the two nations, rather than any specific individuals.”  While there, Kerry visited Abu Dhabi’s Noor solar park, which is the largest single-site solar park in the world.  The UAE is quickly ramping up the amount of energy it generates from renewable sources.

In India

Kerry was quick to praise India stating before his meeting with Modi that “India is getting the job done on climate, pushing the curve. You are indisputably a world leader already in the deployment of renewable energy.”  The Associated Press reported that after the meeting Kerry told the Prime Minister that the U.S. will support India’s climate plans by helping the country with affordable access to green technologies and financing, according to a statement released by India’s External Affairs Ministry.

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