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Kerry: US to Make Climate Goals        07/02 08:33

   U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said Friday that setbacks for President Joe 
Biden's climate efforts at home have "slowed the pace" of some of the 
commitments from other countries to cut climate-wrecking fossil fuels, but he 
insisted the U.S. would still achieve its own ambitious climate goals in time.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said Friday that setbacks 
for President Joe Biden's climate efforts at home have "slowed the pace" of 
some of the commitments from other countries to cut climate-wrecking fossil 
fuels, but he insisted the U.S. would still achieve its own ambitious climate 
goals in time.

   Kerry spoke to The Associated Press after a major Supreme Court ruling 
Thursday limited the Environmental Protection Agency's options for regulating 
climate pollution from power plants. The ruling raised the prospect the 
conservative-controlled court could go on to hinder other efforts by the 
executive branch to cut the country's coal, oil and gas emissions. It came 
after Democrats failed in getting what was to be Biden's signature climate 
legislation through the narrowly divided Senate.

   The Biden administration is striving now to show audiences at home and 
abroad that the U.S. can still make significant climate progress, and strike 
deals with other countries to do the same. Scientists say only a few years are 
left to stave off the worst levels of global warming, triggering ever more 
deadly droughts, storms, wildfires and other disasters.

   Kerry, Biden's climate negotiator abroad, said he had not talked to foreign 
counterparts since the Supreme Court ruling, which some climate scientists 
called a gut punch and a disaster.

   "But I'm confident they'll ask me questions," Kerry said. "But my answer is 
going to be look, we're going to meet our goals ... and the president is going 
to continue to fight for legislation from the Congress."

   "We absolutely are convinced we can meet our goals," Kerry said.

   Biden has pledged to cut the nation's greenhouse gas emissions in half by 
the end of the decade and to have an emissions-free power sector by 2035. 
Despite two Democrats joining with Republicans to block what was supposed to 
have been transformative legislation moving the United States to cleaner 
energy, Biden has managed to free significant funding for electric charging 
stations and some other moves. The EPA has pledged to release alternative 
regulation to limit climate damage from the power sector early next year.

   Kerry cited continuing progress in climate efforts abroad this year, 
including more governments committing to faster cuts in emissions and more 
signing a U.S.-backed methane pledge targeting climate-damaging leaks, venting 
and flaring from natural gas industries.

   "This decision by the Supreme Court ... is disappointing, but ... it doesn't 
take away our ability to do a whole bunch of things that we need to get done," 
Kerry said.

   "President Biden has enormous authority to continue to move forward. We are 
going to move forward. I am absolutely confident about our ability to continue 
to offer leadership on a global basis, which we're doing right now."

   Kerry also pointed to progress the United States was making in cutting 
fossil fuel emissions independently of the government efforts, including 
through electric cars and other marketplace technological advances, and through 
clean-energy pushes from California and dozens of other states, mostly those 
led by Democrats.

   Kerry described legislation on tax credits to encourage cleaner energy as 
common sense and doable. He declined to talk about the impact if even those 
failed to clear Congress.

   "I wouldn't be a gloomy-doomy over this," he said. "I just say we got to 
work harder and fight harder."

   Asked if it was possible to ask China and other major polluters to make fast 
moves away from fossil fuels when the U.S. was struggling to meet some of its 
own goals, Kerry said, "they'll make their own analysis. That will conceivably 
have an impact on what they decide to do or not."

   The administration's setbacks getting major climate retooling through 
conservatives in Congress and the Supreme Court haven't hurt the momentum he's 
working for abroad in climate negotiations, Kerry insisted. "But I think it's 
slowed the pace at which some of these things could happen," he said.

   "If the United States were able to accomplish more regarding our own goals, 
and we did so rapidly, that would put a lot of pressure on a lot of countries," 
he said.

 
 
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