US will ‘set an ex­am­ple’ on cli­mate change: Kerry

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

The United States in­tends to “set an ex­am­ple for the world” in fight­ing cli­mate change, Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry said Tues­day, adding that the is­sue is a U.S. for­eign pol­icy pri­or­ity.

“Our am­bas­sadors will be di­rected to de­velop mean­ing­ful com­mit­ments and cre­ative so­lu­tions to re­duce green­house gas emis­sions,” Kerry said in an op-ed in The Hill news­pa­per, a Wash­ing­ton pub­li­ca­tion cov­er­ing Congress and pol­i­tics.

The United States is the sec­ond­largest green­house gas emit­ter in the world af­ter China.

Kerry’s com­ments to The Hill ap­peared the same day that he re­vealed a re­port set­ting guide­lines for Amer­i­can diplo­macy pri­or­i­ties.

“The State Depart­ment and Amer­ica will set an ex­am­ple for the world to fol­low to­ward a health­ier, safer planet,” Kerry said in The Hill.

“Here at home, we will col­lab­o­rate with Congress, may­ors, CEOs, faith lead­ers and civil so­ci­ety to ad­dress this ex­is­ten­tial is­sue,” he said.

The Qua­dren­nial Diplo­macy and Devel­op­ment Re­view, which Kerry pre­sented Tues­day, iden­ti­fies “the ef­fects of cli­mate change as a threat to our na­tional se­cu­rity.”

“Ad­dress­ing this threat is a top pri­or­ity for the depart­ment and USAID,” Kerry said.

U.S. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, who trav­eled to Florida’s Ev­er­glades last week in a high-pro­file push to raise aware­ness about the dan­gers fac­ing the en­vi­ron­ment, said that cli­mate change “can no longer be de­nied.”

The ad­min­is­tra­tion has shown a will­ing­ness to use its in­flu­ence to push other coun­tries to re­duce their CO2 emis­sions.

In Novem­ber, China set a tar­get for its emis­sions to peak around 2030. The goal was an­nounced dur­ing a visit by Obama, who set a tar­get for the United States to cut its emis­sions by 26-28 per­cent from 2005 lev­els by 2025.

Global lead­ers are ex­pected to meet in De­cem­ber in Paris to thrash out a bind­ing mech­a­nism for re­duc­ing emis­sions.

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