“We are proud to be back,” said US climate envoy John Kerry on Monday at the Netherlands summit on climate adaptation. In his contribution, he emphasized that the climate is a “top priority” for incoming President Joe Biden. “He knows we have to take unprecedented action and we don’t have enough time,” Kerry told Prime Minister Mark Root and other world leaders who listened to him from a distance by video call.
Kerry said his country’s “humility” befits “our absence in recent years.” Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, did not appreciate the climate policy. He pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, in which world leaders pledged to limit global warming to a maximum of two degrees, preferably 1.5 degrees. Kerry noted that scientists are increasingly heading to 1.5 degrees as the critical limit.
One of Joe Biden’s first acts as president was to re-sign the Paris Agreement. Kerry said his country wanted to make “significant investments” and work again with other countries to combat climate change and mitigate its effects.
The top is all about adaptation. Meaning: Adaptation to climate change. Kerry described it with great significance. “Some of the consequences of climate change are already inevitable,” he said. According to the new climate envoy, “It is definitely cheaper to prevent or reduce the damage than repair the damage.”
Rota was happy. “I’m very happy to hear John Kerry say this. It’s wonderful that the United States is back in the center,” the prime minister said. “We need the United States to fight climate change.”