U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gave a speech on Wednesday at Marrakech, Morocco during the U.N. sponsored Conference Of The Parties (COP 22) To The U.N. Framework Convention On Climate Change and claimed that climate change shouldn’t be a partisan issue which come as the environmental policies promoted by president elect Donald Trump appears to stand at direct odds with the groundbreaking goals obtained in the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global carbon emissions and to help cool the earth’s warming temperature.
Secretary Kerry said in less than a year through the Paris Agreement 109 countries representing nearly 75 percent of the world’s emissions have now formally committed to bold, decisive action concerning climate change and noted the United States is determined to affirm that action and to stick with it out of Marrakech.
Admitting the world is now beginning to move forward together towards a clean energy future, Secretary Kerry explained the over the past decade, global renewable energy market has expanded more than six-fold and investments in renewable energy is at an all-time high – nearly $350 billion, just last year.
“And for the first time since the Pre-Industrial Era, despite the fact that you have global prices of oil and gas and coal that are lower than ever, still more of the world’s money was invested in renewable energy technologies than in new fossil fuel plants” Secretary Kerry said.
Pointing out President Obama’s leadership and bipartisan support in Congress in areas such as tax credits for renewable energy, Secretary Kerry said the U.S. is on the way to meeting all of the international targets that they’ve set, and because of the market decisions that are being made, he does not believe that that can or will be reversed.
“Most businesspeople have come to understand: investing in clean energy simply makes good economic sense. You can make money. You can do good and do well at the same time” Kerry said.
Last year emerging economies such as China, India, and Brazil invested even more in renewable technologies than the developed world, boosted by China investing 100 billion dollars in the sector.
“Ultimately, clean energy is expected to be a multitrillion dollar market – the largest market the world has ever known. And no nation will do well if it sits on the sidelines, handicapping its new businesses from reaping the benefits of the clean-tech explosion” Secretary Kerry said.
Admitting the market is clearly headed towards clean energy, and noting that trend will only become more pronounced in the future, Secretary Kerry emphasized that government leadership is essential to continue to create the technological advances that forever revolutionize the way that we power our world.
“And if we fall short, it will be the single greatest instance in modern history of a generation in a time of crisis abdicating responsibility for the future. And it won’t just be a policy failure; because of the nature of this challenge, it will be a moral failure, a betrayal of devastating consequence” Secretary Kerry said.
Secretary Kerry used health statistics showing that fossil fuels have led to expensive health problems across the globe.
“In 2014, a study found that up to six million people in China have black lung because they lived and worked so close to coal-fired power plants. There are nearly 20 million new asthma cases a year in India linked to coal related air pollution, and in the United States, asthma costs taxpayers more than $55 billion annually. The greatest cause of children being hospitalized in the summer in the United States is environmentally induced asthma” Secretary Kerry said.
Coal is the single largest contributor to global carbon pollution.
Although it provides approximately 30 percent of the world’s energy, it produces nearly 50 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases.
Secretary Kerry explained that the unprecedented investments that we are now seeing in clean energy “will mean very, very little if, at the same time, new coal fire plants without carbon capture are coming online and at a rate dumping into the atmosphere more and more of the very pollution that we’re all working so hard to reduce.”
President elect Donald Trump, a climate change denier, has called climate change a “hoax” and previously supported an outlandish conspiracy theory that the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive, a claim that was widely refuted by Beijing and global environmentalists.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
Trump has pledged to cancel the groundbreaking achievements obtained through the 2015 Paris Agreement, has spoken about helping the fossil fuel industry, weaken federal regulations, and recently appointed a climate change denier to head his transition team for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through his selection of Myron Ebell, a non-scientist, who serves as Director of Global Warming and International Policy at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Mr. Ebell is also chairman of the Cooler Heads Coalition, a group that aims to “question global warming alarmism.”
Secretary Kerry told the audience that climate change shouldn’t be a partisan issue and said he can’t speculate about what policies our president-elect will pursue.
“And there’s nothing partisan about climate change for the world scientists who are near unanimous in their conclusion that climate change is real, it is happening, human beings for the most part are causing it, and we will have increasing catastrophic impacts on our way of life if we don’t take the dramatic steps necessary to reduce the carbon footprint of our civilization” Secretary Kerry said.
Secretary Kerry said we have to continue to accelerate the global transition to a clean energy economy.
“And we have to continue to hold one another accountable for the choices that our nations makes” Secretary Kerry added.