April 10 2019

John Kerry Wants to Punish Deniers Who Mock Climate Change, Including Trump

Former Secretary of State John Kerry, the man who negotiated and signed the landmark Paris climate accord on behalf of…

Former Secretary of State John Kerry, the man who negotiated and signed the landmark Paris climate accord on behalf of the United States, is working on a new initiative that will seek to punish President Donald Trump and other politicians for failing to combat climate change.

“Regrettably, President Trump has eliminated American leadership and replaced it (with) know-nothing denial,” Kerry said in an interview Thursday.

He lambasted the president’s pledge to pull the U.S. out of the Paris deal and called the administration’s moves to undo Obama-era pollution-cutting regulations “criminal, basically.”

Kerry said he was working with former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and others to develop a new international initiative to hold politicians accountable for undermining the fight against climate change.

The primary solution to climate change, Kerry said, is clear: to transform the energy system so that it no longer relies on carbon-emitting fossil fuels. And that task is becoming easier as renewable technologies improve.

“The biggest single thing that is lacking today is political accountability,” Kerry said. “People can mock the concept of climate change with impunity and there is no cost to pay. That’s got to stop.”

The details of the new climate accountability initiative are still being worked out and could be announced within the next few weeks. But Kerry said it would include actions aimed at the 2020 election, which he called “a moment for people to be held to the test.”

Last month, he co-signed a letter to Trump that raised concerns about reports that the National Security Council might form its own committee to undermine the judgment of military and intelligence officials who say climate change is a serious threat to U.S. national security.

Next week, Kerry will join another Obama administration Cabinet member, former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, in testifying to Congress about the national security threats from climate change. (Read More)