John Kerry Says Current Goals Under the Paris Climate Agreement Are Insufficient to Limit Earth’s Temperature


Via Flickr

Nicole Welle | February 1, 2021

John Kerry, special presidential envoy for climate, said Sunday that the goals outlined under the Paris Climate Accord will not be enough to limit the Earth’s rising temperatures.

Kerry said that the goal of reaching a 1.5°C limitation on global warming is appropriate, but the promises countries have made to reach that goal are insufficient to achieve it. However, he added that there is still time to take more aggressive action to fight climate change if governments are willing to do so. Kerry has expressed personal approval of implementing a carbon tax to help combat the climate crisis, and President Joe Biden is likely to consider that move after saying that he would support it during the 2020 presidential campaign, according to a CNN article.

President Biden recently announced that the U.S. will rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and has set a goal for the country to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Climate experts have said that this aggressive goal is achievable. However, while Biden has already signed multiple executive orders aimed at combatting climate change, he may face pushback from congress as he pursues further climate legislation.

Biden will also have to incorporate climate change into his administration’s foreign policy if he hopes to address the issue on a global scale. That would mean introducing it into trade policies, foreign aid programs and bilateral discussions, a shift that would become Kerry’s responsibility as the new envoy for climate change, according to a New York Times article.

Joe Biden Selects John Kerry as the Presidential Climate Envoy


Via Flickr

Maxwell Bernstein | November 25, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former secretary of state John Kerry to be his presidential climate envoy, according to the Washington Post

John Kerry tweeted, “America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is. I’m proud to partner with the President-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis as the President’s Climate Envoy.” 

Kerry will be tasked with mending fractured relationships with global leaders when it comes to combating climate change. The Trump administration withdrew the United States from the Paris climate accord and rolled back rules to reduce the United States’ emissions.  

This is the first time that the National Security Council will include someone whose designated role is to fight climate change. With this role, Kerry will exercise soft power to convince China and India to cut greenhouse-gas emissions as their economies continue to grow.