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Kerry Expected to Elevate Climate Change as Secretary of State

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Environment and Climate Resource Center page and our Politics and Democracy page.

Secretary of State nominee John Kerry, with 20 years of concern about climate change, is expected to push the issue to center stage as a slow-motion crisis in need of a global solution.

When he sought to defeat President George W. Bush in 2004, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts made a point of challenging the Bush administration's backtracking on the issue and rejection of climate science. In contrast, he told the nation, he "believes in science."

Kerry has been pushing for action on global warming since he attended the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. He has since attended multiple United Nations climate-change negotiations, including helping Obama with some preliminary discussions with India and China at the U.N. talks in Copenhagen in 2009.

He co-authored unsuccessful legislation in the Senate to set up a cap-and-trade system to reduce U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases. He and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, co-wrote a book, "This Moment on Earth: Today's New Environmentalists and Their Vision for the Future."

A clue to his current thinking came in August when he spoke on the Senate floor, saying that planetary warming was "as dangerous as any sort of the real crises that we talk about."


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