John Kerry Now Says the Paris Agreement Is 'Insufficient' to Combat Climate Change

Connor Grant | February 3, 2021
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John Kerry, President Joe Biden's "Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, now says that the terms of the Paris Agreement are "insufficient" to combat the threat of climate change.

Just days after Biden re-committed the United States into the global accord, Kerry told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday that the Paris Climate Agreement's “goals thus far have been inadequate.” 

When asked if he believes we have the time to ramp up and not just rejoin the Paris Agreement due to it being "inadequate," Kerry responded: 

“The goal of achieving a 1.5˚(C) limitation on the rise of Earth's temperature is absolutely the appropriate goal, but the current promises of countries through the Paris Agreement, are insufficient to get the job done,”

Kerry further added that he believes there is still time to do more when it comes to climate change, claiming that as of three years ago we had 12 years to limit climate change.

"Now we have nine years within which we have to make key decisions and actually less because obviously you cannot make all of those decisions in the last two years," he alleged.

First signed in 2015 under then-President Barack Obama, the Paris Climate Agreement has become a pivotal topic of conversation following President Biden’s executive order to rejoin the accord. Shortly after being sworn into office, former President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement, citing the high financial cost to American taxpayers as well as the fact that the U.S. was already meeting and exceeding its environmental goals without the treaty.

Trump also pointed to multiple other countries having failed to hold up their end of the deal - a sentiment Kerry appears to share.

Kerry also claimed during the interview Sunday that recent job losses due to the Biden administration's restrictions on the fossil fuel industry could be made up for with potentially “millions of jobs” in green energy. As for the cost of combatting climate change, Kerry said the new administration may implement a carbon tax to take on climate issues, an option Biden said he would consider during his campaign.

"Well, we could do it (the carbon tax). It is one option of many things we're going to have to consider and may wind up doing," he said.

Kerry has been facing criticism recently after suggesting that laid off fossil fuel workers can "make solar panels," and was recently accused of hypocrisy on climate issues due to his personal use of private jets.

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