The United States’ top climate advisers on Saturday said that the Joe Biden administration will release more policies to tackle climate change next week and urged China to toughen one of its targets on greenhouse gas emissions
Gina McCarthy, the White House’s national climate adviser, did not say what policies would be released. However, a report says that Biden will unveil a second round of executive orders as soon as January 27 that include an omnibus order to combat climate change domestically and elevate the issue as a national security priority.
“We’ve already sent signals on the things that we don’t like that we’re going to roll back, but this week you’re going to see us move forward with what’s the vision of the future,” McCarthy told a virtual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Biden, a Democrat who took office on January 20, quickly issued executive orders canceling the Keystone XL pipeline that would import tar sands oil from Canada and rejoining the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
John Kerry, Biden’s special climate envoy, said a recent pledge by China, the world’s top greenhouse gas emitter, was “not good enough.”
In September, Chinese President Xi Jinping set a goal for his country to become carbon neutral by 2060, 10 years after the 2050 time frame favored by most countries, while also pledging a more ambitious short-term goal on emissions.
As secretary of state under former President Barack Obama in 2015, Kerry helped bring China to the table at the U.N. climate conference in Paris. “Now, the Biden administration has begun to apply diplomatic pressure on countries to work harder on climate”, said Kerry.
He talked on Friday with foreign ministers in Europe, who told him they had high expectations for the Biden administration after a lack of action on climate in the Trump years.
“Yeah, we realize we come back with humility,” Kerry said he told the ministers, adding that the majority of U.S. states and more than 1,000 mayors continued to move ahead on climate during the Trump years.