We must keep making progress in the fight against climate change, Secretary of State John Kerry said at the 2016 U.N. climate conference in Marrakech, Morocco.
It’s been a historic year for climate action. In December 2015, almost 200 countries came together in Paris to agree on a plan aimed at limiting global temperature rise to well under 2 degrees Celsius. Dozens of countries ratified the agreement, bringing it into force even as the international community agreed to phase down hydrofluorocarbons and set international aviation on a path toward sustainable growth.
But, as Kerry says in the video above, “we can’t wait too long to translate the science that we have today into the policies that are necessary to address this challenge.”
In a whirlwind week that took him from Oceania to Antarctica, the Middle East, Africa and South America, Kerry saw — up close — the effects of climate change and the efforts of people preparing for and combating global warming.
In the world’s southernmost continent, Kerry stepped out onto the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. If the entire sheet melted, global sea levels would rise 4 to 5 meters. Whether we can reverse this process, Kerry concluded, is up to us.
“Every individual can make a difference” by holding politicians accountable and responding in local communities, he said. “I’m counting on you.”