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Trump return wouldn't cripple US climate credibility, Kerry says

Jennifer A. Dlouhy, John Fraher, Bloomberg News on

Published in Science & Technology News

John Kerry said the U.S. can be trusted to act on climate change no matter what happens in next year’s election.

The U.S.’s word “is 100% percent good,” said Kerry, the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate change. He spoke at the Bloomberg Green summit at COP28 in Dubai.

When asked about the risk to U.S. climate credibility if Donald Trump returns to the White House, Kerry shuddered in mock surprise and alarm. “That nightmarish prospect—” he said, before catching himself. “I’m not allowed to comment on politics, actually,” he said. “My body language was enough of it.”

Trump used his first term in office to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, dial back green regulations and renege on international funding commitments to help countries bearing the brunt of warming.

“Could he, or someone else who doesn’t want to listen to the science, or doesn’t read about it or care about the facts, have an impact? Yes,” Kerry said. But they are “not going to stop what is happening” — a global movement toward “a low-carbon or no-carbon economy.”

 

Kerry pointed to private sector’s buy-in to the clean energy transition. For example, he said, automakers won’t reverse course after spending billions of dollars retooling manufacturing lines to produce electric vehicles. And while Trump was president, 75% of the electricity added in the U.S. came exclusively from renewables, Kerry said.

“Obviously he didn’t know that or he would have stopped that or tried to. But that’s the reality,” Kerry said. “Even though Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement, the American people did not.”

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