Energy & Environment

Kerry to become highest-ranking US official to visit Antarctica

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Secretary of State John Kerry will visit an Antarctic research station next week, making him the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the world’s southernmost continent. 

Kerry will meet with scientists at the McMurdo Station in Antarctica during a trip Nov. 10–12, the State Department announced on Friday. 

{mosads}While there, Kerry will discuss the impact of climate change on the continent and will visit the Ross Sea Region Marine Protected Area, which a group of 24 nations announced last month as the the world’s largest marine sanctuary.

When the marine area was established in October, Kerry praised it as one that “will safeguard one of the last unspoiled ocean wilderness areas on the planet — home to unparalleled marine biodiversity and thriving communities of penguins, seals, whales, seabirds, and fish.”

Kerry’s Antarctica trip means the Obama administration will have taken its climate change message to both ends of the earth. President Obama last year became the first president in U.S. history to venture above the Arctic circle when he visited the Alaskan village of Kotzebue.

The Antarctica trip comes days before Kerry attends an international climate change meeting in Marrakech, Morocco. Negotiators hope to use the meeting to advance the climate change deal reached last year in Paris, which established greenhouse gas reduction targets for most of the world’s governments.

Kerry will deliver a speech at the meeting that “highlights the urgency of addressing climate change and the importance of continued ambitious climate action around the world,” the State Department said.

Tags Antarctica Climate change John Kerry

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