Former Secretary of State John Kerry said that he had hopes that Russian President Vladimir Putin would stay on track with his efforts in the fight against climate change, as the country engages in full-on conflict with neighboring Ukraine.
Kerry made the comments on the BBC Arabic network, where he said that there could be “emission consequences” from the war. “…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,” said Kerry, adding that he was concerned about the “change boundaries of international law by force.”
John Kerry: “I hope that President Putin will help us stay on track with respect to what we need to do for the climate.”pic.twitter.com/uAEkSeqvpj
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) February 24, 2022
“So, you know, hopefully I think President Putin would realize that in the northern part of his country, they used to live on – 66% percent of a nation that was over frozen land. Now it’s thawing and his infrastructure is at risk and the people of Russia are at risk,” he added. “And so I hope President Putin will help us to stay on track with respect to what we need to do for the climate,” said Kerry.
Emissions may not be the only thing Kerry should be worried about. Ukraine has already reported losses in the hundreds, following an invasion directed by polluting Putin.
Kerry’s words were met with harsh criticism, including from Sen. Marco Rubio, who said: “Climate change religious zealot John Kerry is worried that the first major ground war in Europe in 80 years Putin’s threat of nuclear consequences is getting more attention than his climate agenda.”
Critics also responded by calling Kerry a “clueless politician,” with Journalist Stephen Hayes saying “I hope President Putin will help us with respect to what we need to do to stay on track with the climate.”