John Kerry aims to talk US back into a lead role in climate fight

Kerry aims to talk US back into a lead role in climate fight
Former Secretary of State John Kerry arrives for the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. Source: AP Photo
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Daily US Times: From a wood-paneled library in his Boston mansion, new US climate envoy John Kerry is talking the US back into a leading role in global climate action, making clear the country is not just revving up its own efforts to reduce oil, coal and gas pollution but that it intends to push everyone in the world to do more, too.

Kerry’s diplomatic efforts match the fast pace of domestic climate directives by the week-old Biden administration, which created the job Kerry now holds. Those directives include an order from President Biden expected Wednesday spelling out how US intelligence, defense and homeland security agencies should address the security threats posed by worsening droughts, floods and other natural disasters under global warming.

John Kerry, 77, is working to make a success out of the global climate accord that he helped negotiate in Paris as secretary of state under Barack Obama administration — and that he then saw rejected by former President Donald Trump, who also spurned all other Obama-era legacy efforts to wean the US and global economies off climate-damaging fossil fuels.

Success for the new US climate envoy is hardly assured. He faces pushback in his own country from the oil and gas industry and hears concerns that jobs will be lost. Internationally, there’s uncertainty about whether Joe Biden’s climate commitments can survive the US’ intensely divided politics, let alone the next presidential transition.

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