State Department Moves to Take Bigger Role in U.S. Climate Policy

State Department Moves to Take Bigger Role in U.S. Climate Policy

Climate change legislation has had a tough time in the United States. But Secretary of State John Kerry, based partially on a conviction that climate change is causing more intense storms like the recent typhoon in the Philippines, still sees the conclusion of a successful global climate pact in 2015 with full U.S. participation as an important, legacy-defining goal.

Last month, Kerry stood alongside his Philippine counterpart and told reporters that “what we face today is sufficient to say that developed nations in the world need to take the lead,” predicting, among other things, a pattern of increasingly intense storms unless emissions can be reduced.

The most recent U.N. Climate Change Conference ended in late November in Warsaw with a set of decisions agreed upon by the United States and the other governments present—including a commitment to come up with national measures to reduce emissions. These measures will be evaluated by the other negotiating partners and by outside experts to make sure that they meet agreed-upon targets for emissions reductions.

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