Message to COP-19 on the President's Climate Action Plan

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
November 18, 2013

To those of you participating in the 19th Conference of Parties, I'm delighted to be able to share a few words with you.

As we all know, global climate change is a crisis that is absolutely going to wait for no one and it respects no border. It's happening now and it's happening at a pace that is alarming to all of us. And the solution to climate change is not going to be provided by one nation alone. We need to all of us take on this challenge together and the United States is absolutely committed to doing our part.

President Obama recently announced his Climate Action Plan, which builds on aggressive steps that we've already taken over the past few years. The President has issued historic rules to double the fuel efficiency of the cars and trucks on our roads. And last month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed regulations to limit the carbon pollution released by new power plants. Today, the administration is working to develop safeguards that ensure existing power plants are as clean and efficient as possible. All of these are big steps.

Transportation and power account for two-thirds of the emissions in America's skies. But we are not content to stop what I've just described. We are improving energy efficiency in a whole range of ways, once again doubling our use of wind and solar power, reducing the use of HFCs that harm the atmosphere. And I'm proud to say that the United States is making good progress towards meeting our international pledge to greatly reduce emissions by 2020 and implement President Obama's plan, which keeps us moving in the right direction.

If we're going to reduce emissions worldwide, transform global energy economies, and help the most vulnerable cope with the effects of climate change, we are going to need leadership and aggressive steps from everyone, all of us working together everyday with a sense of urgency.

Fulfilling our responsibility to the future inhabitants of our planet is an ambitious goal, yes. But there isn't a more important one out there right now.

So thank you all for what you're doing. Thank you for taking part in this conference. I can remember attending the first conference back in 1990 and 92 and since then many Conferences of the Parties in between. I pledge to you the United States is going to continue to offer leadership and we still stand right there with you. Thank you.