December 11, 2014

Secretary Kerry Speaks at Climate Talks

Statement by Alden Meyer

LIMA (December 11, 2014) – Secretary of State John Kerry arrived today in Lima to address the urgency of climate change and discuss U.S. leadership in the negotiations.

Alden Meyer, UCS’s Director of Strategy and Policy, has worked on international and domestic climate and energy issues for more than 25 years and is in attendance at this year’s COP. Below is Meyer’s response to Secretary Kerry’s address.

“Today’s address reaffirms the urgency of climate change. Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree that climate change is a real and immediate problem – one which all countries must acknowledge and act on if all of us are to be spared from the worst impacts.

“As Sec. Kerry mentioned, a primary goal in Lima is getting agreement from countries to put forward in the coming year clear and transparent action commitments. But this goal is under siege here in Lima. Numerous countries are pushing to weaken or even delete entirely the requirements in the draft ADP decision calling for both clear and ambitious emissions reductions commitments, and for a global assessment of the adequacy of countries' proposals.

“This is unacceptable. To vitiate or block this deal is to condemn the people of the world to ever-increasing destruction brought about by the impacts of climate change. The climate does not discriminate and no one will be spared.

“The United States has already announced its proposed 2025 emissions reduction commitment, but it is not off the hook. The U.S. must provide real leadership by fighting for the strong language in the final Lima decision that is essential to securing an ambitious, comprehensive climate deal in Paris.”