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Kerry vows US will meet climate goals despite Supreme Court setback – International

US climate envoy John Kerry vowed on Friday that the US would meet stated UN targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, despite a Supreme Court ruling limiting the federal government’s powers.

“We are determined to achieve our goals. We can achieve our goals,” Kerry told AFP.

“But if the majority of the Supreme Court in the United States really understands the gravity of the situation and is willing to try to be helpful rather than a hindrance, that would certainly help,” he added. .

President Joe Biden, after defeating climate change skeptic Donald Trump, said in April last year that the United States would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52% from 2005 levels.

Biden also contributed to the UN climate system in compliance with the historic 2015 Paris Agreement, which Kerry negotiated while Secretary of State.

China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, on Friday called on all countries to comply with the Paris pledges. “Singing slogans is not enough,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said of the United States.

Kerry, who has worked with Chinese officials despite growing tensions between Beijing and Washington, said he was “not surprised by the news.”

“We’re going to show China exactly how we’re going to do the job,” he said.

The conservative Supreme Court on Thursday cut short an important way the government could address climate change without new legislation.

In what Biden called a “disastrous” 6-3 sentence, the Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not have the authority to order drastic cuts in emissions from coal-fired power plants.

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“I’m sure — and our legal people are reading this very closely — that this decision gives us a lot of opportunity to do a lot of things that we need to do,” Kerry said.

Coal accounts for about 20% of electricity generation in the United States, on par with renewables.

China has continued to build coal generation capacity, despite investing heavily in wind and solar energy.