U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, speaking at the Leaders Summit on Climate, said Thursday that carbon dioxide emissions reaching a net zero would not be enough to prevent climate change.

President Biden invited 40 world leaders to participate in the summit with the goal of addressing climate change issues and presenting policies for the future. Kerry spoke at the event as a representative of the U.S., saying that humanity must make efforts to actively remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

“You said twice, getting to net zero is going to be hard, really hard. And just remind everybody that it will depend on whether or not we have breakthrough technologies, some breakthrough inventions, number one,” Kerry stated at the summit. “But even if we get to net zero, we still have to get carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. So this is a bigger challenge than a lot of people haven’t really grabbed onto yet.”

“Net zero” refers to a balance of greenhouse gas emissions produced and greenhouse gas emissions removed from the atmosphere, according to the Climate Council. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Climate Czar John Kerry Said in 2009 That Arctic Summer Ice Would Disappear In 5 Years)

John Kerry at Biden’s #LeadersClimateSummit:

‘Net zero is not enough. We need to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.’

A statement of climate futility and insanity. pic.twitter.com/CqtIXI8Xon

— Steve Milloy (@JunkScience) April 22, 2021

Over the past few years, institutes such as Columbia Climate School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have worked hard developing technology to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Leaders at the summit are also discussing the economic benefits of climate action and opportunities to protect citizens in vulnerable geographic areas from the impacts of climate change, according to the White House.

The U.S. has committed to removing half of their emissions by 2030, according to the New York Times.

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