World Wildlife Fund issued the following statement from Lou Leonard, VP, climate change, in response to today’s address from United States Secretary of State John Kerry at the UN climate talks in Paris:
“Sec. of State John Kerry just gave a much-needed political and financial boost to the negotiations, further bridging the trust gap hanging over these talks.
“This is a pivotal moment for the Paris talks where political leadership is crucially needed. Secretary Kerry’s speech hit the right notes on greater ambition, accepting US responsibility and promoting global solidarity.
“Secretary Kerry took a concrete step by committing to double US adaptation support for the poorest countries to $800 million annually by 2020. Negotiations over climate finance have dominated the talks in Paris. Now the US and other countries need to agree to a clear collective roadmap to reach the promised $100 billion in finance by 2020 and ramp up thereafter.
“Importantly, the Secretary said that to protect the vulnerable we need to increase our ambition every five years. If we are to have any chance to meet a 1.5 or even 2C target, this cycle must begin immediately. Over the next two days, all countries, including the United States, should focus on ensuring that nations come back to the table before 2020 to improve on the national emission cuts announced in Paris.
“The United States can contribute to enhancing action through greater international cooperation with developing economies. Bold international partnerships that leverage the full force of the United States economy and trigger additional action in developing countries would begin to deliver on the vision outlined by President Obama last week and help close the emissions gap to 1.5-2C.”