The United States will partner with nations to solve the climate crisis, says Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.

“Failure is really not an option if we expect to pass the Earth on in the shape that it needs to be to future generations,” he said at a Munich Security Conference (MSC) Special Session on February 19, the day the United States formally reentered the Paris Agreement. “So we all need to determine what success looks like, how to achieve it, and commit ourselves, above all, to get this job done.”

Combating climate change is a top Biden administration priority, and Kerry reiterated that the United States and countries everywhere must work together to keep alive the possibility of limiting the planet’s global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“To be on track, to keep even a 66% probability of keeping global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees, to do that we need to cut global emissions in half by 2030,” he said at the UNA-USA Global Engagement Summit the same day.

Kerry outlined steps toward this goal, including:

    • Phasing out coal five times faster.
    • Increasing tree cover five times faster.
    • Ramping up renewable energy six times faster.
    • Transitioning to electric vehicles 22 times faster.

Kerry also said the United States will work with the public and private sectors to mobilize trillions of dollars in funding to help vulnerable countries achieve these goals.

“We have to be honest that as a global community, we’re not close to where we need to be. We have to be humble, because we know the United States was inexcusably absent for four years,” he said at MSC. “And most of all, we have to be ambitious — all of us — because we have to get the job done.”