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John Kerry: ‘we have to invest in new technology’ to fight climate change



John Kerry has said that the world needs to address climate challenges by reducing emissions and investing in clean technologies, in order to prevent spending billions to clean up after extreme weather events.

The US secretary of state told an audience in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Sunday that the science behind climate change was absolutely certain and was a warning to everyone.

He said that the discussion about climate change has barely changed since 1992, despite increasingly worryingly signs of natural disasters and rising temperatures – especially in south-east Asia, where the Typhoon Haiyan recently caused devastation.

Kerry said, “The window of time is still open for us to be able to manage this threat. But the window is closing. And so I wanted to come to Jakarta to talk to you because we need people all over the world to raise their voices and to be heard.

“There is still time for us to significantly cut greenhouse emissions and prevent the very worst consequences of climate change from ever happening at all. But we need to move on this, and we need to move together now. We just don’t have time to let a few loud interests groups hijack the climate conversation.”

Kerry – who openly admitted that the US, along with China, carried the main responsibility for global warming – criticised the claim that addressing climate change now is going to be expensive.

You do not need a degree in economics or a graduate degree in business in order to understand that the cost of flooding, the cost of drought, the cost of famine, the cost of healthcare, the cost of addressing this challenge is simply far less – the costs of addressing this challenge are far less than the costs of doing nothing”, he said.

He added, “We have to invest in new technology that will help us bring renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and hydro power not only to the communities where those resources are abundant – but to every community and to every country on every continent.

“If we come together now, we can not only meet the challenge, we can create jobs and economic growth in every corner of the globe.

Further reading:

UK weather: storm insurance claims reach £426m, says ABI

US business and political leaders to debate economic cost of climate change

Climate change science is ‘irrefutable’, says John Kerry

Prince Charles: window of opportunity to tackle climate change ‘rapidly narrowing’

Climate change threatens 31% of global economic output