U.S. envoy Kerry says world needs a 'wartime mentality' over climate

French Economy and Finance Minister Le Maire meets US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Kerry in Paris
U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry attends a joint news conference with French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire (not seen) after a meeting at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, France, March 10, 2021. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

LONDON, June 28 (Reuters) - U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said on Monday the world needed to adopt a "wartime mentality" to face the challenge posed by climate change, urging development banks to scale up their green finance efforts.

While countries covering 55% of global GDP came out of President Biden's recent climate summit committed to net zero emissions by 2050, much deeper action was needed between now and 2030 for the mid-century goals to have any chance of success.

"We've got to get a kind of wartime mentality here," Kerry told a European Bank for Reconstruction and Development conference, calling on countries including the United States to change their bureaucracy to enable quicker action.

"We can't afford to have 10 years of lawsuits and pretend we're going to deal with this issue, it's just not going to happen."

In order to achieve the climate commitments, the world needed to deploy the world's largest solar field every day for the next 10 years. "Are we doing that? We're not even near," Kerry said.

"In World War II, we turned out one B24 bomber every hour from the Ford Motor Company plant, so we knew we had to do that. Now we ought to be turning out solar panels at the same kind of rate and helping to deploy them, and the multilateral development banks have got to step up and help grease the skids so that this kind of investment can work."

Reporting by Simon Jessop, Editing by William Maclean

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