By Ben Geman - 02/18/10 04:36 PM EST
Kerry used the occasion to defend the limited nonbinding accord struck at the UN’s Copenhagen climate summit in December, under which countries are listing their national emissions-curbing plans.
The accord called for an overall goal of limiting global temperature increases to less than 2 degrees Celsius, and also described international climate finance goals.
“He [de Boer] brought the world’s major emitters, including China and India, to the table and was a valued partner to the global community as we forged a political agreement in Copenhagen. As we look towards a treaty this year in Mexico, we must operationalize the Copenhagen Accord to produce meaningful global emissions reductions,” Kerry said.
Mexico is the site of the next big UN climate summit this year, but the prospects for reaching a binding global treaty are highly uncertain.
Kerry, and Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamGraham: GOP Senate could rein in Clinton White House The Hill's 12:30 Report 56 memorable moments from a wild presidential race MORE (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), are leading Senate efforts to craft a compromise bipartisan climate bill. But they face major hurdles winning the needed 60 votes and securing space on the election-year agenda.
Kerry’s combative tone comes as the landscape for climate advocates has become more difficult.
The Copenhagen summit fell short of expectations. Also, emails hacked from a British research institute have bred allegations that climate scientists have squelched information that undercuts evidence of human-induced global warming.
Obama administration officials and many scientists say the emails – and errors in a landmark 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – have done nothing to dent evidence of climate change.