'Green economy is the future': US secretary of state

World should strengthen ambition as well as action in this key decade to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, says Blinken.

'Green economy is the future': US secretary of state

Highlighting the importance of shifting to clean energy from fossil fuels, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday that green economy is the future.

"Climate change doesn't only threaten our economy, our infrastructure or our national security, it's a threat to all of them, and more," Blinken told at the U.S. Center opening event, in Glasgow, UK.

He underlined that the world should strengthen ambition as well as action in this decisive decade to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and also to prevent a "climate catastrophe."

Mentioning the US' returning to Paris climate accord with President Joe Biden, Blinken reminded Washington's new commitment -- a 50% to 52% reduction in emissions by 2030 that puts the US on course to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

"This is a decisive decade. We've got to make it count," he noted, adding that "we shouldn't leave Glasgow without acknowledging that fact."

He also stressed that climate change requires developing and implementing creative initiatives on the ground by state and local governments as well as investments by companies that will get the world to net zero emissions.

"That's the smart thing for business to do and the right thing, the green economy is the future. And companies that make the right investments now will reap the rewards for years to come," underlined Blinken.

'We know what we must accomplish'

For his part, John Kerry, the US special presidential envoy for climate, reminded that there are a group of nations -- equal 65% of the global GDP -- that have committed to achieve the target of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

"Obviously, if 65% committed (to this goal), our job is try to bring other 35% along," he noted.

Kerry went on to say that raising the ambition and closing the gap are among the top goals of the US during the COP26, adding that they want to complete the rulebook of Paris Agreement.

"We have to lay out the long term road. We have to give people confidence that we are going to use this decade which is the decade of decision and action in order to make everything else possible," said Kerry.

Citing scientists and reports, he pointed out that if the world does not reduce carbon emissions enough between 2020 and 2030, it cannot limit the global warming to 1.5 degrees.

"That’s just the reality. ... We know what we are trying to accomplish in this next two weeks and we know what we must accomplish in this next two weeks," underlined Kerry.

"We have already made progress," he highlighted, referring to the Group of 20's leaders' summit which ended Sunday with a deal on ending coal financing by the end of the year and to aim to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The COP26 meeting will continue through Nov. 12 with numerous panels, meetings, and side events, all seeking remedies to reduce the levels of global warming by keeping it to 1.5 C.

Hüseyin Demir