Columns It is better to build climate policy on an unpleasant truth than on lies

The new U.S. climate ambassador, John Kerry, now has to do in the footsteps of Donald Trump what Al Gore did in the footsteps of George W. Bush.

President Joe Biden’s America returns not only to the geopolitical tables but also to international climate policy. John Kerry has been appointed Biden as his climate ambassador.

Former Secretary of State Kerry is the new Al Gore. Gore was not only vice president of President Bill Clinton but also the face and voice of a previous U.S. climate revival in his documentary An unpleasant truth. Thanks to this, Gore, together with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

An unpleasant truth the sequel, “Unpleasant Lies,” was made by Donald Trump. That, too, left a big mark on climate policy. A huge amount of time was wasted.

Kerry unveiled a new U.S. climate policy in a speech to the Munich security conference on Friday. On the same day, the United States officially returned to the Paris Climate Agreement.

Kerry described climate change as a multiplier of security threats. Where there is a crisis, there is also a security threat, and the consequences of the climate crisis threaten the very existence of humanity.

This is what others have said to the United States in recent years. However, frustration must be swallowed up, as the United States is needed to accelerate the technological revolution, carbon pricing and, of course, curb warming to 1.5 degrees.

The role of the climate leader is difficult. Trump’s lies sold well, and the detachment from coal and oil is politically tearing. However, Kerry said the United States is now honest, humble, and ambitious. It is also worth being strategic.

China saw Europe’s frustration with Trump. Last fall, President Xi Jingping stole the show at the UN General Assembly by announcing that China will be carbon neutral in 2060. In the short years, China got its climate openings on its side of the EU, even though the EU otherwise radically updated its China strategy to define China as a system-level competitor.

NATO also made a climate leap. The emphasis on climate security is, in a way, part of branding, as the military alliance should also be credible for future generations.

Also Biden is rebranding the United States. He will hold a climate summit in April. The climate will also be on the agenda at the G7 and G20 meetings of the industrialized countries, and the return of the United States will not go unnoticed at the UN climate summit in Glasgow in November.

The author is the editorial editor of HS.


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