Paris accord alone does not get the job done says Biden's special envoy on climate change

Lalit K Jha
·3-min read

Washington, Nov 25 (PTI) Asserting that the world must come together to solve the problem of climate change, John Kerry, who has been named special presidential envoy for climate change by United States President-elect Joe Biden said the historic Paris agreement alone does not get the job done.

President-elect Biden has put forward a bold, transformative climate plan that lives up to the moment, Kerry said noting that Biden has also underscored that no country alone can solve this challenge.

“Even the United States, for all our economic might, is responsible for only 15 per cent of global emissions. The world must come to this table to solve this problem,” said the former Secretary of State, who on Tuesday was named by Biden as his special envoy on climate change.

Biden has announced that he would join the Paris Agreement on Climate Change on day one of his administration.

“You’re right to rejoin Paris on day one, and you’re right to recognise that Paris alone does not get the job done. At the global meeting in Glasgow one year from now, all nations must raise ambition together – or we will all fail, together. Failure is not an option,” said Kerry, who in this capacity has been made a member of the National Security Council.

“Success means tapping into the best of American ingenuity, creativity, and diplomacy — from brainpower to alternative energy power — using every tool we have to get where we need to go,” he said.

“No one should doubt the determination of the country that went to the moon, cured supposedly incurable diseases, and beat back global tyranny to win World War II. We will immediately, again, work with friends and partners to meet this challenge too,” Kerry said.

Introducing Kerry to the nation for this position, Biden said that for the first time ever, the US will have a full-time climate leader who will participate in ministerial-level meetings. “That’s a fancy way of saying they’ll have a seat at every table around the world,” he said.

For the first time ever, there will be a principal on the National Security Council who will make sure climate change is on the agenda in the Situation Room. “And for the first time ever, we will have a Presidential envoy on climate,” Biden said.

Kerry will be matched with a high-level White House Climate Policy Coordinator and policy-making structure — to be announced in December — that will lead efforts here in the US to combat the climate crisis and mobilise action to meet this existential threat, said the president-elect.

“Let me be clear: I don't for a minute underestimate the difficulties of meeting my bold commitments to fighting climate change. But at the same time, no one should underestimate for a minute my determination to do just that,” he said.

“As for the man himself, if I had a former Secretary of State who helped negotiate the Paris Climate Agreement, or a former Presidential nominee, or a former leading Senator, or the head of a major climate organisation for the job, it would show my commitment to this role,” he said.

“The fact that I picked the one person who is all of these things speaks unambiguously. The world will know that one of my closest friends — John Kerry — is speaking for America on one of the most pressing threats of our time,” Biden said. PTI LKJ HDA