On Wednesday, the world's top two greenhouse gas emitters, the United States and China, who account for over 40% of global carbon production each year, said that they would work together to reduce emissions to address the global climate issue.

Boris Johnson Chairs UN Security Council Meeting On Climate Change
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The deal unveiled during the UN COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, intends to expedite carbon reductions toward the 2015 Paris Agreement's targets. That agreement held countries throughout the globe responsible for reducing emissions to keep global warming "far below" 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial times, with a goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

"It's advantageous not only to our two nations but to the globe as a whole," Chinese special climate envoy Xie Zhenhua told reporters at a press conference. "We need to think large and be responsible," says Zenhua.

An Unexpected Collaboration

COP26
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The pact, which comes when China and the United States are at odds over other international problems, announces an intention to take "concrete efforts" on carbon reductions and limits. By 2025, the two nations would cooperate on policy and technological development, establish new national objectives for 2035, and resurrect a "multilateral" climate change working group.

In an interview with NPR's Ari Shapiro, US special climate envoy John Kerry stated, "I'm absolutely sure it is the fastest, best approach to encourage China to move from where it is now."

Kerry admitted that the new deal would not be adequate to fulfill the Paris Agreement's 1.5 degree Celsius objective, but he praised its capacity to spur mutual accountability and action.

"It's the fastest we can get here in Glasgow right now," Kerry said, "but it's the first time China and the United States have stood up - the world's two greatest emitters - and said, 'We're going to work together to speed the reduction.'"

He remarked separately, "Yesterday was greater than some people realize."

Negotiation Still Ongoing  

Much of the agreement's terminology is still unquantified. China, for example, promises to reduce coal usage and "make utmost efforts to speed this process."

According to Kerry, China's readiness to collaborate, present emissions levels, and history of "outperforming its targets" make this pact more ambitious than its detractors know. He also emphasized the significance of the methane reduction pact. It's the first time the Chinese government has stated that it will handle the problem, and it's one for which the US has issued new laws this month.

"If we achieve our objective of a 30% reduction in methane by 2030," Kerry added, "that is the equivalent of reducing all the automobiles, trucks, aircraft, and ships in the world to zero. That's how enormous it is. That's what's on the table."

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A "Fruitful" Summit

Kerry also expressed optimism that the conditions of the agreement and COP26 will be implemented.

"Not the words here are the key to Glasgow," he explained. "It's the promises and goals that have been stated, as well as their implementation, and we're going to turn into an implementation force following this conference."

Kerry also addressed criticism from countries that are among the most susceptible to climate change and worries about the United States' climate leadership.

Developing countries have urged wealthier nations to follow through on a vow made at a United Nations meeting in 2009. Climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, to channel $100 billion per year to less-developed nations to adapt to climate change. According to Ugandan campaigner Vanessa Nakate, that promise is yet to be fulfilled in 2021.

"And the fact that this climate money has been postponed for additional years is so unjust to nations on the front lines of a climate disaster," she told NPR this week.

Kerry said, "I hope she won't blame the Biden administration accountable for Donald Trump." "The reason there hasn't been money in the previous several years is that Donald Trump turned it off - he walked out of the Paris Agreement - but President Biden has been intent on helping supply that money since he took office."

Kerry also stated that his discussions with the six major banks in the United States and meetings with donors and charities would result in billions of dollars in investment.

Addressing Concerns

Boris Johnson Launches UN Climate Change Conference To Be Held Later This Year
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Kerry responded to concerns regarding the United States' failure. Biden's domestic spending proposal, which includes cash to combat climate change, must be approved by Congress. He said that having finalized legislation to show off "helps, without a doubt," in terms of international legitimacy. Still, he was sure that it would not interfere with the negotiation process. It would also pass "in the next two weeks," he said.

"I believe the [climate] problem is so compelling that people are prepared to respond to the activities that people say they're willing to take," Kerry said. "And, by the way, the United States has solid credentials in this area because we've done what we've said we're going to do in terms of these things."

They expressed optimism for good collaboration and consensus as the COP26 session approached its last day. He also discussed the importance of providing resources to address a world already afflicted by climate change.

Kerry stated, "And absolutely, we have a fundamental moral duty to do this." "Because we are the richest country on the globe, the second-largest emitter, and we've been doing this for a long time, and the cumulative effects of what we've been doing are creating harm in the atmosphere, and we need to pay attention to it."

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