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US Climate Envoy John Kerry to meet Russian FM Sergey Lavrov


US Climate Envoy John Kerry to meet Russian FM Sergey Lavrov

Kerry Lavrov
Photo: Reuters

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow today to discuss climate-related issues and possible joint cooperation.

The meeting precedes November’s 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, a crucial conference to tackle carbon emissions. Climate change cooperation between Washington and Moscow recently increased with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s virtual attendance at April’s US-hosted international climate summit.

Russia, the world’s fourth largest greenhouse gas emitter, joined the 2015 Paris Agreement in 2019, and recently doubled down on lowering emissions. One project, the Green Moscow initiative, plans to expand green transport infrastructure and modernize commercial fleets to comply with climate regulations.

Climate change is one of the few areas where the US and Russia can cooperate without substantial domestic blowback. Still, a probable tension point is oil and gas production, which Russia does not intend to cut. Without doing so Russia is unlikely to find alternative ways to meaningfully reduce emissions, and programs like Green Moscow will not be enough on their own. For greater transparency, expect Kerry to press Russia to produce a plan for net zero emissions by 2050, a key Paris Agreement component yet to be fulfilled.

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