Making Climate Change A Priority

February 21st, 2013 | Simcha Weinstein | Comments Off on Making Climate Change A Priority

climateChangeDuring John Kerry’s confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, he pledged to pursue a different brand of foreign policy particularly when it comes to fighting climate change, which Kerry described as a direct threat to American Security. “The solution to climate change is energy policy,” he said. “You want to do business and do it well in America, we’ve got to get into the energy race.”

Yesterday, Kerry used his first major speech as secretary of State to make the case that failing to confront climate change means missing big economic opportunities — and worse.

“If we waste this opportunity, it may be the only thing our generation — generations — are remembered for. We need to find the courage to leave a far different legacy,” Kerry said in an address Wednesday at the University of Virginia.

He went on to say, “We as a nation must have the foresight and courage to make the investments necessary to safeguard the most sacred trust we keep for our children and grandchildren: an environment not ravaged by rising seas, deadly superstorms, devastating droughts, and the other hallmarks of a dramatically changing climate,” said Kerry, according to prepared remarks.

As a U.S. Senator, Kerry was an outspoken advocate of enacting climate change policy, but now he can push climate protection as a foreign affairs issue. If we are truly serious about tackling climate change then we must reach out beyond our domestic borders. The world watches the United States, and if we drag our feet when dealing with this critical issue, then is less likely that the other large polluting countries will have any motivation to move forward with their efforts to limit their own carbon emissions.

John Kerry as Secretary of State could prove to have some very positive and serious ramifications in battling climate change and understanding how our energy policy directly affects the world. Linking energy and climate change is sorely needed in our political discourse and action – both at home and abroad. It’s good to see someone serious about climate change in Washington who’s actually in a position to affect change.

Go get ’em Mr. Secretary – and good luck.