Joint Statement by Executive Vice-President Timmermans and US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Kerry following the 6th EU-US High-Level Climate Action Group

On 6 April 2022, European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Special US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and their respective teams met virtually to exchange views on the most recent global developments, on how to advance the deliverables of COP26 in Glasgow, and on how best to move forward, together with partners, towards an ambitious, successful, and inclusive COP 27 this November in Sharm el–Sheikh, Egypt.

Recalling the words of President Biden and President von der Leyen on 24 March, on the occasion of President Biden’s visit to Brussels, they reaffirmed that the United States and the European Union are united in their condemnation of Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine.

They underscored that the climate crisis, which poses an existential threat, has only deepened, and that the time to redress this challenge is running out.  In that context, they referred to the latest IPCC reports of working groups 2 and 3 (February and April 2022), which underscore the need for urgent action to keep a 1.5 degree Celsius limit on warming within reach.

They confirmed that the most recent consequences of Russia’s war against Ukraine have only strengthened the imperative of staying on track and accelerating the clean energy transition. The sooner countries can diversify their energy sources, improve energy efficiency, and introduce renewables, the better.

The EU is now negotiating its comprehensive ‘Fit for 55′ legislative package to achieve at least 55% less greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 and the European Commission will soon table a “REPowerEU” package to significantly reduce its dependency on Russian gas before the end of this year, swiftly diversify its gas imports, in cooperation with the United States, and to establish long term energy partnerships with a view to up-scaled hydrogen production and trade, accelerated transition to renewables, and clean energy infrastructure.

Looking ahead to 2022 and COP 27, they affirmed the importance of a global “Implementation…Plus” approach, including, e.g. the strengthening of those 2030 NDC targets not yet aligned with the 1.5 degree limit, intensifying efforts to phase out unabated thermal coal power generation, and aligning public and private finance with the Paris goals. They will work together to advance implementation of the Global Methane Pledge, including partnering to enhance both energy and climate security by reducing flaring, venting, and leakage from oil and natural gas systems. The EU and the US expressed their joint commitment to Just Energy Transition Partnerships and also expressed joint determination to move forward rapidly, notably in Vietnam and Indonesia where the EU and the US, respectively, have the co-lead. They call on other partners to join these efforts.

They looked forward to working together with each other and partners at the upcoming summits and conferences to promote these objectives.