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John Kerry Addresses New Role as U.S. Climate Envoy

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John Kerry Addresses New Role as U.S. Climate Envoy

John Kerry, the new American envoy for climate change, said on Wednesday that the United States will once again become a global leader in tackling climate change, through agreements such as the Paris Accord.

The stakes on climate change just simply couldn’t be any higher than they are right now. It is existential. We use that word too easily — we throw it away — but we have a big agenda in front of us on a global basis. And President Biden is deeply committed. As he committed to doing on the campaign trail, the president is announcing that he will host a leaders summit on climate change less than three months from now, on April 22, Earth Day, which will include a leader-level reconvening of the major economies forum. Theft of intellectual property, and access to market, South China Sea. I mean, run the list. We all know them. Those issues will never be traded for anything that has to do with climate. That’s not going to happen. But climate is a critical standalone issue that we have to deal on, in the sense that China is 30 percent of the emissions of the world, we’re about 15 percent of the emissions of the world. You add the E.U. to that and you’ve got three entities that are more than 55 percent or so. So it’s urgent that we find a way to compartmentalize, to move forward, and we’ll wait and see.

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