Today (Nov. 16) US Secretary of State John Kerry reassured the world at the COP22 meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, that the US will live up to its promises under the Paris Climate Accord it ratified with China earlier this year. That’s despite claims during the campaign season that now President-Elect Donald Trump would pull the US out of the agreements.
When the US and China, the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gas, ratified the Paris agreement on climate change together earlier this year and the world breathed a sigh of relief. Other countries were emboldened to ratify the most sweeping change to global climate emissions ever imagined on the international scale. Then the US elections happened and President-Elect Donald Trump (R) had promised to pull out of the agreement, which has caused some international consternation.
Kerry firmly reassured the international community that, for many reasons, the US will not pull out of the climate deal. “I can tell you with confidence that the United States is right now, today, on our way to meeting all of the international targets that we’ve set, and because of the market decisions that are being made, I do not believe that that can or will be reversed,” he stated to applause.
During his remarks to the international leaders, Kerry noted that the Paris Agreement last year only required 55 countries representing 55 percent of the world’s human emissions commit to reducing their emissions. However, “In a powerful statement of the whole world’s broad commitment to this agreement, in less than a year, 109 countries representing nearly 75 percent of the world’s emissions have now formally committed to bold, decisive action—and we are determined to affirm that action and to stick with it out of Marrakech.”
“No one can deny the remarkable progress that we have made—progress that actually was pretty hard to imagine even a few years ago. The global community is more united than ever not just in accepting the challenge, but in confronting it with real action, in making a difference,” Kerry said. “No one should doubt the overwhelming majority of the citizens of the United States who know climate change is happening and who are determined to keep our commitments that were made in Paris,” he stated to applause.
During his remarks, Kerry noted the remarkable recent success of the renewables industries in helping reduce the impact of climate change. “An average of half a million new solar panels were installed every single day last year.” He also observed that nations invested $350 billion in renewable energy last year. “That $350 billion is the first time that we’ve been able to see that money outpacing what is being put into fossil fuels,” he contended, adding that the investments occurred despite lower oil, gas and coal prices.
“That’s why I’m confident about the future, regardless of what policy might be chosen, because of the marketplace,” Kerry said. “America’s wind generation has tripled since 2008 and that will continue, and solar generation has increased 30 times over. And the reason both of those will continue is that the marketplace will dictate that, not the government.”
Indeed, leading companies in the US have taken unprecedented steps to push for the US to stay in the climate pact. Earlier this year, for instance, they called for a ‘Low-Carbon USA.” Now, fully 360 companies—everyone from Levi Strauss to Intel, Kellogg’s to Monsanto! have signed a letter to COP22, Trump, Obama and Congress stating that they want the US to stick to the Paris Climate Accord and to hold global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.Tweet