Sign In or Create an Account.

By continuing, you agree to the Terms of Service and acknowledge our Privacy Policy

Sparks

John Kerry Unveils America’s​ Plans for COP28

Here’s what the U.S. climate envoy will be focusing on.

John Kerry.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images
In a press conference on Wednesday morning, U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry previewed the three main issues the U.S. will be focused on “securing strong outcomes” for at COP28, the United Nations climate conference that kicks off tomorrow:

1. Acting on the global stocktake: Negotiators will discuss the results of the first 5-year assessment of global climate progress and how countries might make additional commitments. One of the main sticking points is sure to be language around reducing fossil fuels. Kerry reiterated that the U.S. supports requiring the “phase out of unabated fossil fuels,” which leaves room for the continued use of oil, gas, and coal, as long as the emissions are captured.

2. Standing up a new fund for loss and damage: Countries agreed at last year’s COP to set up a new fund to pay for the damages climate change is already causing around the world, but have yet to figure out who will oversee the fund, how much countries will pay into it, and how it will be administered. Kerry said the U.S. supports a proposal that was released earlier this month to house the fund at the World Bank for at least four years, and make financial commitments completely voluntary — provisions that the developing countries the fund is meant to support staunchly oppose.

“I think that it's important the fund does not represent any expression of liability or compensation or any legal requirements, but it is going to try to be there for those in the developing world who have taken some of the brunt,” he said.

3. Making progress on the Paris Agreement’s adaptation goal: While the Paris Agreement instructed signatories to “enhance adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change worldwide,” countries haven’t yet decided how to turn that into a concrete goal.

Kerry also signaled that a new methane agreement would be announced that involves oil and gas companies in addition to countries. He said there “literally will be hundreds of initiatives” announced over the course of the conference, including many from the U.S.

“What is very clear to us, and we will be pushing this the next two weeks that we are negotiating, we have to move faster. There's too much business as usual still, we have got to bring people to the table who are not yet there, and we will make progress in that here.”

This first appeared in Heatmap AM, a briefing on the most important climate and energy news. Sign up to get it in your inbox every week day:

* indicates required

  • Emily Pontecorvo profile image

    Emily Pontecorvo

    Emily is a founding staff writer at Heatmap. Previously she was a staff writer at the nonprofit climate journalism outlet Grist, where she covered all aspects of decarbonization, from clean energy to electrified buildings to carbon dioxide removal.

    Sparks

    There’s Gold in That There Battery Waste

    Aepnus is taking a “fully circular approach” to battery manufacturing.

    Lithium ion batteries.
    Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

    Every year, millions of tons of sodium sulfate waste are generated throughout the lithium-ion battery supply chain. And although the chemical compound seems relatively innocuous — it looks just like table salt and is not particularly toxic — the sheer amount that’s produced via mining, cathode production, and battery recycling is a problem. Dumping it in rivers or oceans would obviously be disruptive to ecosystems (although that’s generally what happens in China), and with landfills running short on space, there are fewer options there, as well.

    That is where Aepnus Technology is attempting to come in. The startup emerged from stealth today with $8 million in seed funding led by Clean Energy Ventures and supported by a number of other cleantech investors, including Lowercarbon Capital and Voyager Ventures. The company uses a novel electrolysis process to convert sodium sulfate waste into sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid, which are themselves essential chemicals for battery production.

    Keep reading...Show less
    Blue
    Donald Trump and Jaws.
    Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

    Former President Trump wants to know: Would you rather be electrocuted or eaten by a shark?

    On Sunday, during a rally in Las Vegas, the Republican nominee floated the question for what is at least the second time this campaign season (an odd choice, perhaps, given that Nevada is hardly shark territory, and therefore his supporters there are unlikely to have given the question much thought).

    Keep reading...Show less
    Red
    Sparks

    Tornado Alley Is Moving East

    New research finally sheds some light on what the heck is happening.

    A tornado.
    Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

    If hurricanes, wildfires, heat, and floods are the Big Four of extreme weather in America, then tornadoes are perhaps the equivalent of the National Bowling League.

    That’s not for lack of fatalities — tornadoes kill more people annually than hurricanes, per the 30-year average — nor for their lack of star power (see: The Wizard of Oz, Sharknado, Twister, and my most highly anticipated movie of the year, Twisters). But when it comes to the study of extreme weather, robust, detailed data on tornadic supercells has been described as “largely absent,” at least compared to the scholarship on their more popular meteorological counterparts.

    Keep reading...Show less
    Blue