US will ‘set an example for world’ on climate change: Kerry
The United States intends to “set an example for the world” in fighting climate change, Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday, adding that the issue is a US foreign policy priority.
“Our ambassadors will be directed to develop meaningful commitments and creative solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Kerry said in an op-ed in The Hill newspaper, a Washington publication covering Congress and politics.
The United States is the second largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world after China.
Kerry’s comments to The Hill appeared the same day that he revealed a report setting guidelines for American diplomacy priorities.
“The State Department and America will set an example for the world to follow toward a healthier, safer planet,” Kerry said in The Hill.
“Here at home, we will collaborate with Congress, mayors, CEOs, faith leaders and civil society to address this existential issue,” he said.
The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, which Kerry presented Tuesday, identifies “the effects of climate change as a threat to our national security.”
“Addressing this threat is a top priority for the department and USAID,” Kerry said.
US President Barack Obama, who traveled to Florida’s Everglades last week in a high-profile push to raise awareness about the dangers facing the environment, said that climate change “can no longer be denied.”
The administration has shown a willingness to use its influence to push other countries to reduce their CO2 emissions.
In November, China set a target for its emissions to peak around 2030. The goal was announced during a visit by Obama, who set a target for the United States to cut its emissions by 26-28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.
Global leaders are expected to meet in December in Paris to thrash out a binding mechanism for reducing emissions.