On November 16, Secretary Kerry addressed the United Nation’s COP 22. Below are some excerpts/highlights and then the link to his full remarks. Let us all join together this Advent to continue to hope–and work for–positive change!
Positive change is happening
“In early October, the International Civil Aviation Organization established a sector-wide agreement for carbon-neutral growth. Why is this so important? Because international aviation wasn’t covered by what we did in Paris, and if that aviation was a country, it would rank among the top dozen greenhouse gas emitters in the world.
“A few weeks later, I was pleased to be in Kigali, Rwanda, when representatives from again nearly 200 countries came together to phase down the global use and production of hydrofluorocarbons – which has been expected to increase very rapidly with a danger that is multiple of times more damaging than carbon dioxide. The Kigali agreement could singlehandedly help us to avoid an entire half a degree centigrade of warming by the end of the century – while at the same time opening up new opportunities for growth in a range of industries.
“All of these steps combine to move the needle in the direction that we need to.”
Need to accelerate commitment, investment and work
“For all the progress that we are making, at the current pace we will not meet our goal. I said that earlier. We knew in Paris that what we were doing was trying to start down a road. But we also knew it doesn’t get us to the end of the journey.”
“Last year, more than 1,000 businesses and investors – including sectors that might be surprising to some of you – all came together to voice their support for carbon pricing. The long list of supporters includes energy companies like BP, Royal Dutch Shell, utilities like PG&E, transportation companies like British Airways, construction firms like Cemex, financial institutions like Deutsche Bank, like Swiss Re, and consumer goods corporations like Unilever and Nokia. These companies all believe that carbon pricing will establish the necessary certainty in the marketplace that helps the private sector to move the capital that helps to solve the problem.”
Not a parisan issue
“It isn’t a partisan issue for our military leaders at the Pentagon who call climate change a threat multiplier. (Applause.) It isn’t a partisan issue for those military leaders because of the way that climate change exacerbates conflicts all over the world and who view it as a threat to military readiness at their bases and could suffer the consequences of rising seas and stronger storms. It isn’t a partisan issue for our intelligence community, who just this year released a report detailing the implications of climate change for U.S. national security: threats to the stability of fragile nations, heightened social and political tensions, rising food prices, increased risks to human health, and more.
“It isn’t a partisan issue for mayors from New Orleans to Miami, who are already working hard to manage sunny-day floods and stronger storm surges caused by climate change. It isn’t partisan for liberal and conservative business leaders alike who are investing unprecedented amounts of money into renewables, voluntarily committing to reduce their own emissions, and even holding their supply chains accountable to their overall carbon footprint.”