Kerry: Climate Science 'Alarming', 'Irrefutable'


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday the evidence for climate change was beyond dispute but it was not too late for international action to prevent its worst impacts.

"The science is clear. It is irrefutable and it is alarming," Kerry told a climate conference in Majuro in the Marshall Islands in a video address from Washington.

"If we continue down our current path, the impacts of climate change will only get worse."

Kerry said without strong, immediate action, the world would experience threats to critical infrastructure, regional stability, public health, economic vitality, and the long-term viability of some states.

Washington's top diplomat was addressing climate experts meeting on the eve of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in the Marshall Islands, a low-lying nation where rising seas threaten to swamp many atolls.

"I stand with you in the fight against climate change," he pledged, adding the issue was a global crisis that was beyond one country to fix and needed urgent global action.

"If we act together, there is still time to prevent some of the worst impacts of climate change," he said. "But the people of the Pacific Islands know as well as anyone that we also need to prepare communities for the impacts that are already being felt."

Kerry is not attending the PIF, with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell representing the United States instead.

Earlier, European Union Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said the threat facing low-lying island nations showed that international action on the issue was overdue.

Hedegaard expressed concern that some countries may try to delay a 2015 deadline for implementing reductions in emissions and increasing reliance on alternative energy sources.

She said Europe and the Pacific island nations would work together to push the international community to honor the deadline.

"We have to make a joint pressure to say the world is already more than late (in addressing climate change)," she told the conference in the capital Majuro.

"2015 must be taken seriously."

Hedegaard said that even though the Pacific islands were not responsible for climate change, they were willing to accept tough emissions targets, making it difficult for other nations not to follow suit.

The 15 PIF nations include islands states such as Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshalls, where many atolls are barely a metre (three feet) above sea level and risk being engulfed by rising waters.

The PIF is set to finalize a "Majuro Declaration" on climate change this week, which aims to reinvigorate global efforts to contain global warming.

Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga said the situation was "dire" and the Pacific needed immediate action, not vague promises to do something a few years down the track.

"We need concrete action on the ground to save Tuvalu, Marshall Islands and Kiribati," he said.

"We have to send a very strong signal out of this panel and forum that we need a legally binding agreement (on greenhouse gas emissions)."

The plan is to then present the declaration to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the General Assembly meeting in New York at the end of September, "to reenergise the international community".

Comments 7
Default-user-icon Joe Bastardi (Guest) 02 September 2013, 18:32

This from the guy who said the ice cap would be gone by 2013. Southern hemisphere at record levels, northern hemisphere highest levels since.. 2004 elections. How about that.

Default-user-icon Todd Nelson (Guest) 02 September 2013, 20:22

Since there has been 0.00 degrees of "climate change" either warming or cooling in over 15 years, I can't see where there is "dire" anything. There is no argument on this point by anyone in the IPCC. Therefore, there is nothing that needs to be done. Close the conference and go home

Default-user-icon Titus (Guest) 03 September 2013, 02:13

They need somebody to explain the natural physical dynamics of their islands.

Todd in the previous comment has it dead on. Added to that sea level change has not increased and recently has been declining.

What utter tosh they speak. And they are doing it on our taxes.

Default-user-icon Gregory Brittain (Guest) 03 September 2013, 02:26

How much "greenhouse gas" was generated flying all of these bigwigs for an all expense paid vacation to the Marshall Islands?

Default-user-icon Eric (Guest) 03 September 2013, 05:58

I have an idea ... Let's try and stop climate change. Should be pretty seamy it has only been happening for 4.5 billion years give or take a few hundred million.

What a silly statement to make.

Default-user-icon Steve (Guest) 03 September 2013, 19:25

Yeah, Johnny, it is refuttable...and quite easily...especially these days. The only thing alarming is the scientifically ignorant, politically motivated rush to tax the energy complex, believing it will control planetary climate.

Default-user-icon Mervyn (Guest) 05 September 2013, 16:02

Kerry's statements sound very much like those of the then UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown back in 2009 before the Copenhagen climate conference. It's absolute rubbish, of course. People like Kerry, and Obama for that matter, either have very bad advisors or are just too dumb when it comes to understanding the real world observational data on climate! I fear the latter is the case.