Kerry: 'Costs of Inaction' on Climate Change are 'Catastrophic'

Secretary of State John Kerry touted a working group’s latest report on climate change as irrefutable proof that the globe is warming.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in the report titled “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability” that “the effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans. The world, in many cases, is ill-prepared for risks from a changing climate.”


The UN report included 309 coordinating lead authors, lead authors, and review editors fro 70 countries along with 436 contributing authors and 1,729 expert and government reviewers, according to the IPCC.

“We live in an era of man-made climate change,” said Vicente Barros, co-chairman of Working Group II. “In many cases, we are not prepared for the climate-related risks that we already face. Investments in better preparation can pay dividends both for the present and for the future.”

Kerry said after reading the report one can’t “deny the reality”: “Unless we act dramatically and quickly, science tells us our climate and our way of life are literally in jeopardy. Denial of the science is malpractice.”

“There are those who say we can’t afford to act. But waiting is truly unaffordable. The costs of inaction are catastrophic,” Kerry continued in a statement. “We can already see the damage it’s causing to our ecosystems, wildlife, glaciers, and countless other natural habitats. We can feel the impact of rising temperatures and sea level rise on vulnerable coastal areas. We know the security risks of water scarcity and flooding; widespread land and marine species extinction; and devastated crop yields in some of the poorest nations on earth.”


“No single country causes climate change, and no one country can stop it. But we need to match the urgency of our response with the scale of the science.”

Kerry said the U.S. is “meeting the challenge” with President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, and the administration is “committed to reaching an ambitious agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions with other countries in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.”

“The clock is ticking. The more we delay, the greater the threat,” he said. “Let’s make our political system wake up and let’s make the world respond.”



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