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US climate envoy John Kerry has warned that the environmental crisis should not be forgotten, despite Russia’s war on Ukraine and other urgent issues that are demanding attention.
The climate crisis is not going to go away, said Kerry, who is in Berlin for a meeting of the energy and environment ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) major industrialized nations.
“It is absolutely critical, that we heed the science that dictates that we must accelerate our efforts for conversion to independence, to renewable energy.” “We need to accelerate dramatically and we cannot fall into this false narrative that because of Ukraine there is now an excuse to have to go pump out and build an entire new generation of infrastructure,” Kerry said.
“That would be catastrophic. Unless it comes with all of the mitigation and abatement, the capturing of emissions.” Moscow’s war, now in its third month, has led to a reassesssment of energy as Western governments seek to reduce or end their dependence on Russian supplies of coal, gas and oil. However, in doing so, some fear a reversal of efforts to switch to renewables and renewed dependence on fuels that are not environmentally friendly.
His comments came after German Economy and Environment Minister Robert Habeck said shared solutions are needed for the world’s multiple major crises, naming energy supply, global warming and the ecological crisis.
These “great structural crises of our times” must not be played off against each other, Habeck said.
He said it was obvious that greater speed was needed in overcoming these challenges, in comments to the ministers at the start of the two-day meeting in Berlin.
One of the issues the G7 meeting is addressing is how to take a leading role in advancing the phase-out of coal, he said.
Meanwhile German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke said she hoped the meeting would send “strong signals” on the climate and energy crises as well as concerning the issues of biodiversity and marine protection.
She called for strong and binding standards for deep-sea mining, for a protection agreement for the Antarctic and for the pollution crisis.
Lemke also demanded an expansion of the financial framework for measures to protect biodiversity.
Germany is currently chairing the G7, with the other members France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the US and Britain.
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