President Biden’s climate czar, John Kerry, warned Wednesday that Russia’s war against Ukraine is going to distract the world from the climate change crisis and produce “massive emissions” that will negatively impact the globe.
“I’m concerned about Ukraine because of the people of Ukraine and because of the principles that are at risk, in terms of international law and trying to change boundaries of international law by force,” Kerry, the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, said in an interview on BBC Arabic, MEMRI reported Wednesday. “I thought we lived in a world that had said no to that kind of activity. And I hope diplomacy will win.”
“But massive emissions consequences to the war – but equally importantly, you’re going to lose people’s focus, you’re going to lose certainly big country attention because they will be diverted and I think it could have a damaging impact,” he continued. “So, you know, I think hopefully President Putin would realize that in the northern part of his country, they used to live on 66% of the nation that was over frozen land.”
“Now it’s thawing, and his infrastructure is at risk,” he added. “And the people of Russia are at risk. And so I hope President Putin will help us to stay on track with respect to what we need to do for the climate.”
Kerry, who has faced criticism for his own impact on climate change, made similar comments Sunday when he told GZERO Media’s Ian Bremmer that a Russian invasion of Ukraine will have a “monumental impact on the ability and willingness of people to do what’s necessary” to curb emissions, and it will be “very tough for the climate agenda, there’s no question about it.”