John Kerry is named the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate: A look back at his CogX highlights

At CogX 2020 John Kerry, former secretary of state and presidential candidate, sat down with Anne Applebaum, The Atlantic Staff Writer and prize winning historian. They discussed climate, the pandemic, the WHO and what would be most important to change in the wake of a new presidency. 

Doubling down on his commitment to climate, one of Biden’s first appointments has been to allocateJohn Kerry as Special Presidential Envoy for climate.

With this in mind, we revisited the predictions and priorities highlighted by John Kerry regarding climate change, and how they compare to what he has said since his appointment:

On Science… 

At CogX: 

“Covid 19 is the precursor, people who refuse to accept science, people who deny the experts, people who will not pay attention to the facts and evidence. It is a warning signal for what will come if we don’t now apply ourselves to this opportunity of the climate crisis”

It is clear that Kerry’s priorities still lie with putting science first, shown from his statement at the White House Press Briefing:

“What President Biden is trying to do is listen to science, listen to facts, and make tough decisions about what we need to do to take the world to a better place, and particularly our own country.  And that is what he is committed to doing.”

On world wide effort:

At CogX: 

“We have to shock people a little bit into realizing that this is global. No one country can solve it, the whole world is involved, the whole world has to make changes and adjust.”

At the White House Press briefing, Kerry emphasises the importance of a global effort:

“Paris alone is not enough — not when almost 90 percent of all of the planet’s emissions — global emissions — come from outside of U.S. borders.  We could go to zero tomorrow and the problem isn’t solved.”

On rethinking the economic opportunity:

At CogX: 

“This is an economic opportunity unparalleled in size. there are great jobs to be created, this transformation is already taking place in technology in ai in quantum computing, the possibilities of managing energy more effectively; rebuilding infrastructure, putting people to work, making life fairer, addressing inequities and environmental justice”

In an interview with Bloomberg, Kerry comments on the long term opportunity that Biden’s government has to impact climate change:

“Almost every dollar spent by the government has a climate association or consequence. We will try to provide an example to the world of a government strategy in which we look at every decision we make to see if there’s a climate impact. The breadth and scope is extraordinary — it’s a total rethink.”

For further reading check out this article from Forbes on “10 Actions Climate Envoy John Kerry Can Take To Win The Climate War”, and Time magazine’s exploration into how “The Biden Administration Is Already Calling on China to Do More on Climate Change”

Finally, to hear more on this watch the full video of John Kerry in conversation with Anne Applebaum in John Kerry on World War Zero: Turning Up The Heat 

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