John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate
Marcene – thank you very much. I’m delighted to be with all of you on such an important day.
I know many of you were there at Le Bourget a little over five years ago when we gaveled in the historic Paris Agreement. It was the product of many hearts and many hands – a diplomatic balancing act, and at one point it felt like success or failure could come down to a single word.
And for the last four years, there were times when many feared failure would depend on a single word – Trump.
Yet, five years later, the Paris Agreement and the international climate regime are is still standing – all because cities, states, businesses – organizations across the country – stepped up and said, “We are still in.”
We Are Still In was much more than a slogan. In 2017, only 1 state and 33 cities had committed to get 100% of their energy from clean sources; now, 13 states, Puerto Rico, and 165 cities have 100% clean energy commitments.
And since 2017, 16 states have passed or committed to pass regulations and legislation that would phase down the use of HFCs.
You showed the world the real face of the United States, even before 81 million Americans last November changed the public face of leadership that Americans choose to show the world.
And now, we need you to make “all-in” have even more urgency and meaning.
We come to this work with humility knowing that the United States’ global absence did have consequences.
We come to this work with honesty knowing that Paris isn’t enough.
And we come to this work with ambition knowing that even though the U.S. is thankfully back in the Paris Agreement, we need every major economy, including ours, to achieve what Paris never guaranteed: to increase our action to keep 1.5 degrees of warming within reach, and to get on a track to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
That means we need all of America and all of the world to be “All In.”
We need you to join us. Even with the United States back in officially, we need you to represent the best of the United States abroad because your accomplishments of the last four years are proof that progress is possible, and that progress comes with prosperity.
You’re our success stories. So, if you came to the COPs the last three years, keep coming! And if you didn’t, promise that this year we’ll see you in Glasgow, so we all meet this moment and we meet it together.
Let’s get the job done. I look forward to your partnership and your questions.