John Kerry speaks during a Major Economies Forum meeting at the COP22 climate change conference in Marrakech, Morocco, November 16, 2016. (REUTERS)
United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, appealed to world leaders meeting in Morocco for this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP22) to support a global deal that seeks to tackle climate change.
Kerry warned that global warming is an urgent threat, adding that failure to act will result in irreversible consequences.
He pointed to rising sea levels, melting glaciers and prolonged droughts as evidence that climate change is real.
While he did not mention US President elect Donald Trump by name, Kerry sought to allay fears that the US will backtrack on the Paris Agreement, which sets out ambitious targets to reduce green gas houses blamed for global warming.
Trump has labelled global warming a “hoax” and pledged to cancel the Paris accord.
“Obviously an election took place in my country, and I know it's left some here and elsewhere feeling uncertain about the future.
I obviously understand that uncertainty. And while I can't stand here and speculate about what policies our president-elect will pursue, I will tell you this: in the time I've spent in public life, one of the things I've learned is that some issues look a bit different when you're actually in office compared to when you're on the campaign trail. And the truth is that climate change shouldn't be a partisan issue in the first place. It isn't a partisan issue for our military leaders at the pentagon, who call climate change a threat multiplier.”
Developing countries are also worried that Trump may stop funding towards the $100B climate fund in support of climate kitty in poor countries.
Kerry urged leaders gathered in Morocco to finish the work that they started in Paris.
At least 109 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement including the US, China and India - the world’s top polluters.
The Marrakech conference is expected to come up with a rulebook on the implementation of the Paris Accord, which will make countries more accountable over their pledges to fight global warming.
Sarah Kimani reported from Morocco on a fellowship from the International Reporting Project (IRP).
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