Mariana Panuncio-Feldman, World Wildlife Fund’s senior director of international climate cooperation and head of WWF’s delegation at COP22, issued the following statement about the release of the US’ mid-century plan and Secretary of State Kerry’s remarks:
“In a time of uncertainty, actionable plans to avoid runaway climate change matter more than ever – and that’s what we got today. With its midcentury plan, the US is putting substance behind the promises of the Paris Agreement, and this comes at a crucial juncture in the UN climate talks.
“Importantly, the plan outlines several ways for US carbon-cutting efforts to come within reach of the goals set by the Paris Agreement. This takes our long-term pledges and translates them into a roadmap for action. We will now need to chart the quickest possible path using the suite of options it provides – one that allows us to accelerate action over time with environmental integrity.”
“As Secretary Kerry reminded us today, science is telling us we are running out of time to address climate change. We need urgent and bold action to exponentially cut emissions and protect vulnerable communities to ensure the long-term prosperity and safety of all of the world’s citizens – including Americans.
“Secretary Kerry’s speech rightly reaffirmed that we are on the road to a clean energy economy – despite the uncertainties of a new U.S. administration. He injected some much-needed optimism into the talks, reminding us that the US is still in this fight because there is too much momentum from the marketplace and support from the American public to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
“This roadmap is a powerful tool to help us visualize not just what a clean energy-powered future could look like by mid-century, but also the best and quickest routes to get there. As the basis for long-term planning, this strategy can unleash the innovation and investments not just of national governments, but also of the private sector, state and local governments and local communities. Such innovation will be critical if we are to go beyond what the plan describes as quickly as possible and achieve what the science requires. While this roadmap shows us how to get most of the way there, the last leg of the journey to a zero carbon economy will only become clear once we start moving with determination towards that destination.
“US policymakers will now need to take the opportunities this plan provides and turn those into concrete policies to achieve the emissions reductions it describes.
“By releasing its plan early and in such detail, the US is helping to accelerate the implementation of pledges made in Paris and hopefully encourages other countries to create their own midcentury decarbonization strategies, as required under the Agreement.”
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