Energy & Environment

Kerry dismisses criticism of Paris climate pact

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Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday brushed off suggestions that a sweeping global climate deal announced this weekend lacks enforceability and won’t curb emissions.

{mosads}Kerry, who helped hammer out the agreement with nearly 200 nations during a two-week summit in Paris, told “Fox News Sunday” that the mandatory reporting requirement every five years “is a serious form of enforcement and compliance.”

He said that there aren’t any penalties or sanctions in the deal for nations that don’t comply because the U.S. Congress, among other nations, would never accept them.

“So it has to be voluntary,” Kerry said.

“A lot of nations resent that, but we have accepted that because we believe it is going to move the marketplace and already you see countless new technologies, a lot of jobs being created and I think it’s going to produce its own form of oversight,” he said on Fox.

Kerry said the deal is the “best we could to set the world on a new course toward energy independence, alternative renewable energy, toward a lower carbon footprint, greater health, greater security.”

He called the deal, nearly a decade in the making, “a break-away agreement which actually changes the paradigm by which countries are making judgments about this.”

Kerry argued that the climate deal will require the oil and gas industry to diversify and move to cleaner energy sources.

“The most important thing that really happened today is that the business community of the entire world is receiving a message of countries now moving toward clean, alternative, renewable energy and trying to reduce their carbon footprint,” Kerry told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“That is going to spur massive investment. And it’s technology.”

He said there are expectations that $50 trillion will be spent over the course of the next four decades on new ways to provide energy to billions around the world.

“That is going to be an enormous transformation of our economy and all to the better because it will reduce our dependency on foreign fuel, it will increase our security, it will provide for our environment, cleaner air, healthier, healthier people,” he said.

“There are just all kinds of pluses. And in the end, it’s going to be a job creator.”

“I think, frankly, a lot of members of Congress are on the wrong side of history, and I don’t believe you can be elected president of the United States if you don’t understand climate change and you’re not committed to this kind of a plan,” Kerry said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Kerry acknowledged that President Obama’s successor — if they are opposed to climate change — could unravel the deal.

“Well, obviously if a Republican were elected and they have the ability by executive order to undo things then the answer is yes,” Kerry said on ABC.

“But that’s why I don’t believe the American people, who predominantly do believe in what is happening with climate change, I don’t think they’re going to accept as a genuine leader someone who doesn’t understand the science of climate change and isn’t willing to do something about it.”

This report was updated at 10:43 a.m.

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