Sectary of State Kerry Emphasizes Need to Act on Climate Change

Manila, February 18, 2014  —  U.S.  Secretary of State John Kerry, in a speech in Jakarta on February 16, noted overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change and its worsening impacts, and exhorted all nations to act immediately to worst consequences.

  “There is still time for us to significantly cut greenhouse emissions and prevent the very worst consequences of climate change from ever happening at all,” the Secretary said.  “But we need to move on this, and we need to move together now. We just don’t have time to let a few loud interests groups hijack the climate conversation.”

  The Secretary pointed out that “97 percent of climate scientists have confirmed that climate change is happening and that human activity is responsible.”  He added:  “The science is unequivocal. And those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand.”

  The Secretary acknowledged that the United States is among nations perceived to be a major contributor to the problem of greenhouse effect.  “But, ultimately,” he said, “every nation on Earth has a responsibility to do its part if we have any hope of leaving our future generations the safe and healthy planet that they deserve.”

  Secretary Kerry also called attention to a “real progress” signified by the agreement that the U.S. and China signed the previous day.  The two nations, he said agreed on an “enhanced policy of dialogues” to help the U.N. discussions in Paris next year in developing post 2020 limit to greenhouse emissions.

  “This is real progress,” Secretary said.   “The U.S. and China are the world’s two largest economies. We are two of the largest consumers of energy, and we are two of the largest emitters of global greenhouse gases – together we account for roughly 40 percent of the world’s emissions.”

  “But this is not just about China and the United States,” the Secretary clarified.  “It’s about every country on Earth doing whatever it can to pursue cleaner and healthier energy sources.”

  The full transcript of Secretary Kerry’s remarks is available Here.