18.11.2016 - 15:45

Optimistic Outlook by US Secretary of State at COP22 in Marrakesh


“No one should doubt the overwhelming majority of the citizens of the United States who know climate change is happening and who are determined to keep our commitments that were made in Paris.”

MARRAKESH, MOROCCO- US-Secretary of State John Kerry appeased the 25.000 participants of the 22th UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), who were in parts unsettled by the US-election. During his speech he demonstrated that the US is willing to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent until 2050. Yet in December 2016, the US-government will submit an ambitious „decarbonization-strategy“. Besides the growing and already visible consequences of climate change, Kerry spoke optimistically about the engagement of the United Nations as well as the private sector putting the goals of Paris into practice.

Secretary Kerry recorded a transformation of the energy market, which is independent of the political leadership of one country. He spoke about innovators and committed chief executives in the energy sector of the United States being on the right way. Furthermore, he maintained that the market-decisions, made in the past, could and should not be reversed (The audience applauded loudly at this point). Additionally, for him it is not clear right now how the prospective US-climate-policy will be framed:

“In the time that I have spent in public life, one of the things I have learned is that some issues look a little bit different when you’re actually in office compared to when you’re on the campaign trail.”

Kerry calls to focus on facts, not opinions concerning this topic and advices to stay with well-respected scientists spending their whole life on the challenges of climate change and not the ones just referring to political slogans and unproven theories.

1000 companies and investors agreed last year to support carbon pricing after the share of global emissions, induced through the carbon price, tripled during the last decade. According to the State Secretary Kerry, the private sector welcomes the signals of Paris, but needs exact specifications for investing in clean energy solutions with the certainty needed.

With this information Kerry also refers to a statement 360 companies made after the election supporting the Paris climate agreement. These companies intend to minimize the rise of temperature to a maximum of plus 2 degrees.  In the companies' view, the economy and the governments need to cooperate closely in order to create a low-carbon economy that is based on long-term considerations. Barry Parkin, head of the responsibility management of Mars, added that the global companies have an essential responsibility to react to climate change, water scarcity and deforestation. The statement of the so called 360+ was handed to President Obama, members of the US-Congress as well as other international heads of states.

There are comparable tendencies visible in Germany as well: Ahead of the conference in Marrakesh 40 German companies demanded for an integration of the Paris agreement into the national strategy of environmental and economic policy.

“For companies and investors it is of high importance that a climate protection plan gives clear signals to implement the commitments made in Paris.”

The companies ask in their statement for planning reliability as well as fixed climate goals for the separate sectors traffic, industry, agriculture and construction business. It has been outpointed that exact guidelines for carbon dioxide emission should lead to planning reliability. The goal should be to reorganize to 100 percent renewable energy. In her speech at the COP, Federal Minister Dr. Barbara Hendricks already maintained the doubling of the German financial budget for climate protection from 2 to 4 Billion until 2020.

Kerry’s speech is just one of various optimistic impulses at the COP in Morocco. 47 countries obligate themselves to renounce fossil fuels completely, covering their entire energy demand with renewable energy. This can be seen as one of the most ambitious climate goals world-wide. Until 2020 these goals should be adapted to the national climate goals of the CVF states (Climate Vulnerable Forum). These gravely from climate change affected countries are geared to restrict the global warming to 1,5 degrees compared to the 19th century.