By Haris Alic
February 24, 2022
-The Washington Times
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
The White House’s international climate envoy, John Kerry, urged Russia on Thursday to not lose sight of the bigger need to combat climate change as its military invades Ukraine.
Mr. Kerry, a former secretary of state, told BBC News that it was important for Russian President Vladimir Putin and other global leaders to remain committed to lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
“I hope diplomacy will win … but equally importantly, you’re going to lose people’s focus, you’re going to lose, certainly big country attention,” Mr. Kerry said. “I think it could have a damaging impact.”
Mr. Kerry said that while he abhors Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he hopes that Mr. Putin will remain open to working with Western leaders on tackling climate change.
“I think hopefully, President Putin would realize that in the northern part of his country, they used to live on 66% of … frozen land,” he said. “Now it’s thawing and his infrastructure is at risk, and the people of Russia are at risk.”
“I hope President Putin will help us to stay on track with respect to what we need to do for the climate,” Mr. Kerry said.
Mr. Kerry’s comments came shortly after Russia launched a massive, coordinated attack on Ukraine. Russian military jets bombed numerous cities across the country, as Mr. Putin’s ground forces stormed Ukraine’s border from multiple fronts on Ukraine’s eastern border.
As of Thursday, explosions were reported in at least 16 cities across Ukraine, with missiles raining down on governmental and civilian buildings alike.