Kerry touts good climate deal after India forces last-minute change on coal
India forced the countries to tone down language restricting coal energy
India pushed the countries to use the phrase “phase down” when it came to coal power rather than “phase out” in the agreement made on Saturday in Scotland
Kerry insisted the deal was good news for the world.
“You can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” Kerry added. “And this is good.”
Protests on Saturday came at the end of the first of two weeks of climate talks by world leaders and representatives from almost every country on Earth.
“India’s last-minute change to the language to phase down but not phase out coal is quite shocking,” said Australian climate scientist Bill Hare, who tracks world emission pledges for the science-based Climate Action Tracker. “India has long been a blocker on climate action, but I have never seen it done so publicly.”
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference at the COP26 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland
Others approached the deal from a more positive perspective. In addition to the revised coal language, the Glasgow Climate Pact included enough financial incentives to almost satisfy poorer nations and solved a long-standing problem to pave the way for carbon trading.
The climate deal compromise is likely to anger environmental activists who have called for drastic measures to be taken at the COP26 gathering in Scotland.
“Unless we achieve immediate, drastic, unprecedented, annual emission cuts at the source then that means we’re failing when it comes to this climate crisis,” liberal activist Greta Thunberg tweeted earlier in the week. “Small steps in the right direction”, “making some progress” or “winning slowly” equals loosing.
Kerry said in Scotland this week that the United States will stop burning coal within the next 9 years.
“By 2030 in the United States, we won’t have coal,” Kerry told Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait during an interview at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow. “We will not have coal plants.”
President Joe Biden walks off the stage after speaking during a news conference at the COP26 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland.
Coal sales are reportedly surging as the price of natural gas, which tends to be a by-product of pumping oil, rises