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US envoy slated to travel to UAE, India, Bangladesh, tout climate policy reversal

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US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry speaks to the press as he leaves after a meeting with the French president at The Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris. AFP

US envoy slated to travel to UAE, India, Bangladesh, tout climate policy reversal

The US’ climate envoy John Kerry will travel to the UAE, India and Bangladesh ahead of a climate summit that Washington will host in April, according to a statement from the department on March 31.

The leaders of the three countries are among 40 invited to a two-day virtual meeting starting April 22 and meant to mark the US’ return to the front lines of the climate crisis fight, after former president Donald Trump disengaged from the process.

The US is expected to make ambitious new commitments to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions under the terms of the Paris climate accord soon, and will encourage others to boost their own goals.

Kerry will visit Abu Dhabi, New Delhi and Dhaka between April 1 and 9, the Department of State statement said.

The Paris Agreement left countries in charge of making their own promises and taking their own measurements of emission reductions, but requires them to regularly revise their Nationally Determined Contributions.

The agreement’s goal is to limit the increase in global temperatures by the end of the century to around 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels – or risk leaving much of the planet inhospitable to life.

The US, the world’s top economy in nominal terms, is the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere.

The trip announcement comes as the administration of President Joe Biden was preparing to seek a multi- trillion dollar package from Congress to modernise ageing infrastructure, while shifting to renewable energy and electric cars.

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