John Kerry, Paris Accord Author, Urges Global Effort to Fight Climate Change
Former Secretary of State Signing Paris Agreement to Become Special Envoy for Climate Issues in Future Biden Administration
WASHINGTON – John Kerry’s two-year-old granddaughter sat in his lap as Secretary of State signed the Paris Climate Agreement on behalf of the United States in 2016.
When President-elect Joe Biden announced on Monday that he would appoint him as the first special envoy for climate issues, Kerry posted a photo of the moment on Twitter..
It bears witness to Kerry’s commitment to combating climate change as a debt to future generations..
“The work we started with the Paris Agreement is far from complete,” he wrote. “I am going back to government to put America back on track for solving the biggest problem of this and future generations.”.
Environmentalists welcomed the announcement of a future appointment for Kerry.
“There are few people in the world with such remarkable experience in the fight against climate change as John Kerry,” said Andrew Steer, head of the World Resources Institute..
Kerry played an important role in the negotiations of the Paris Agreement. Prior to that, he worked with Chinese officials on an agreement to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. When the two main sources of emissions joined the work, the path to the conclusion of the agreement became clear.
However, many Republicans still argue that the Paris Agreement has put the United States at a disadvantage, as the American side’s emission reduction commitments exceed those of other major pollutants such as China and India..
It should be noted that the agreement does not require member countries to fulfill their obligations.
Kerry is getting involved in an administration that has put climate change at the top of its agenda. Biden named him one of his top priorities when taking office.
This will mark a sharp departure from the position of the Trump administration.
President Donald Trump not only loosened dozens of restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions and the operation of fossil fuel producers, but also pulled the United States out of the climate agreement that Kerry signed..
The United States officially ceased to be a party to the Paris Agreement on November 4, that is, a day after the elections, which Biden won. Biden said he intends to re-join the agreement shortly after taking office.
Kerry’s appointment “sends a powerful signal to the rest of the world that the US is ready to return to its role as climate leader,” said John Podesta, founder of the left-wing Research Center for American Progress, and Christy Goldfuss, head of the Center for Energy and Environment..
Kerry’s job will not be limited to repairing a relationship that has soured over the Trump years. Scientists say the world is running out of time to seriously cut greenhouse gas emissions and avoid catastrophic climate change. Kerry needs to convince other countries to step up this work.