John Kerry says he’ll con­tinue with global warm­ing ef­forts

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - OBITUARIES - By Nick Perry

U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry said Sun­day he will con­tinue his ef­forts to im­ple­ment the Paris Agree­ment on global warm­ing un­til the day Pres­i­dent Barack Obama leaves of­fice on Jan. 20.

Speak­ing in New Zealand fol­low­ing a trip to Antarc­tica, Kerry said his ad­min­is­tra­tion would con­tinue to do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to meet its re­spon­si­bil­ity to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

Kerry has long cham­pi­oned cli­mate ac­tion but now his legacy is un­der threat. Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump has called cli­mate change a hoax and said he would “can­cel” U.S. in­volve­ment in the land­mark Paris deal.

Un­der the deal, which came into force this month, coun­tries have agreed to limit global warm­ing to 2 de­grees Cel­sius (3.6 de­grees Fahren­heit) above pre-in­dus­trial levels. Achiev­ing the goal will re­quire a ma­jor shift away from fos­sil fu­els.

Kerry said it would be up to the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion to de­fine it­self on cli­mate change. He said that some­times there is a di­vide be­tween what is said on the cam­paign trail and what is done in gov­er­nance.

But Kerry ap­peared to take a swipe at Trump when he listed some of the ways in which global warm­ing could al­ready be seen. He said that glob­ally, there were more fires, floods and dam­ag­ing storms, and sea levels were ris­ing.

“The ev­i­dence is mount­ing in ways that peo­ple in pub­lic life should not dare to avoid ac­cept­ing as a man­date for ac­tion,” Kerry said.

He also made a point of cred­it­ing a pre­vi­ous Repub­li­can pres­i­dent, Ge­orge H.W. Bush, with first join­ing the global ef­fort to ad­dress cli­mate change in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

“Now the world’s sci­en­tific com­mu­nity has con­cluded that cli­mate change is hap­pen­ing be­yond any doubt. And the ev­i­dence is there for ev­ery­body to see,” Kerry said.

He said he thinks his ad­min­is­tra­tion is on the right track be­cause the ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans be­lieve cli­mate change is hap­pen­ing and want ac­tion.

“So we will wait to see how the next ad­min­is­tra­tion ad­dresses this,” he said.

Kerry plans to fly this week to a global cli­mate con­fer­ence in Morocco, where he will give a ma­jor speech. Of­fi­cials there have be­gun work­ing on a “rule­book” to im­ple­ment the Paris deal.


U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry, right, meets with New Zealand Prime Min­is­ter John Key, left, in Welling­ton, New Zealand.

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