Kerry to Tell U.N. Climate Conference 'America Is Back'

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) will travel to Poznan, Poland, as a delegate to Monday's U.N. climate change conference, and the longtime climate advocate says he will tell the conference that "America is back" now that President-elect Barack Obama is entering the White House.

"A very significant component of the message I will carry to Poznan is that America is back--we are back in a position of participation, a position of respecting views and entering real discussions and trying to find the best framework for all of us. And I mean all of us--no nation can be left out of this solution over the long term, and we're all going to have to come to the table," Kerry said yesterday on conference call hosted by the Pew Environment Group

"It's a moment we've been waiting for, many of us, for some period of time--well, for eight years, to be blunt," Kerry said.

Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will meet in Poznan Dec. 1-12 to discuss long-term cooperation on climate change; 190 national delegations are expeted to attend.

Kerry represented the U.S. at the latest round of U.N. climate negotiations, held in Bali, Indonesia in 2007.

Kerry also said President-elect Barack Obama is poised to demonstrate that the economic crisis is not a roadblock to climate action, and that the two problems can be dealt with by the same solution: green jobs.

"You have to turn this challenge into the economic resurgence, into the economic rebound, and I think that President Obama is poised to show America how a green economy and a transformational economy, away from this dependency on fossil fuels is in fact part of the plan of restoring the economy and strengthening our economy," Kerry said.