Not America, But Planet First
November 29th, 2020 at 11:05 am
Not America, But Planet First

It is a great relief for the whole world that US president-elect Joe Biden immediately after his landslide victory declared that his government will rejoin with the Paris Climate Accord to save the planet as he strongly felt that if the planet is safe, then America and the rest of the world will also be saved.

This was merely not his feeling only, he seriously meant it as he has chosen John Kerry as the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. This is a newly created position which is firmly and deeply fixed along with the National Security Council — the main forum of presidential advisers and cabinet officials on national security and foreign policy.

We are aware that John Kerry is a seasoned diplomat to spearhead his climate policy. The long-term goal of going carbon-neutral by 2050 is a strong, bold and clear policy that can be achieved if the developed nations like the United States of America, Canada, France, Germany especially the rich countries of G-20 under the dynamic leadership of newly elected US government are sincere and dedicated and thus make the planet comfortable for the 7 billion people around the world.  The aim of this plan should be fingered for our next generation.

Due to worsening climate degradation the coming generation of the vulnerable countries likes Bangladesh and many more developing, under developing and least developed countries along with and mid level developed countries including economic giant countries of Asia – China and India are in a great threat and it is the holy and sacred responsibility of the present leadership of the developed nations to rescue the planet from the worsening degeneration.

Not America first, but Planet first

John Kerry, who has signed the Paris Climate Accord on behalf of the then US government in 2016, has already emphasized about the promise of President-elect Joe Biden to consider the climate as one of the topmost priorities of his government during his 4-year tenure.

“America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is,” John Kerry tweeted immediately after getting this significant assignment from Biden.

“It will be an honour to work with our allies and partners, alongside rising young leaders in the climate movement, to tackle the climate crisis with the seriousness and urgency it deserves,” he said in his tweeted message.

The whole world, especially the countries that are concerned about the safety of the future generation, always chanted a slogan that if the planet is safe America will also be saved. The environment lovers and climate activists and scientists have welcomed Kerry’s appointment.

They said that after four years of sitting on the sidelines, the US has now finally nominated a high profiled, dignified, experienced and skilled representative on the world climate platform who has profound knowledge and understanding about the gravity of the climate crisis and has the experience and skills to work with the global community to help address it.

Another said the appointment of John Kerry is very good news for the world’s inhabitants who are concerned about the climate.

The 76-year-old Kerry has a lot of experience as a climate diplomat. As Secretary of State under Barack Obama, John Kerry was the key architect of the Paris Climate Accord and also assisted to negotiate the Kyoto Protocol. He has an ideal person for the job because international climate policy requires compromise.

Experience and skill of John Kerry is a valuable asset indeed, an asset that nobody else really has. A similar sentiment and voice have echoed by many other dignitaries across the world including the former US presidential candidate Al Gore himself who greeted Kerry’s appointment in a tweet, describing him as “a superb choice.”

Kerry’s first main task will be to establish the voice and images of the United States that has been jeopardized during the Trump administration in the global community dedicated to tackling climate change.

The ability for him to deliver on the promise of real US action to a skeptical international community is probably will be one of the biggest challenges in his role.

Kerry’s overall success as climate envoy may well hinge on the willingness of the US to commit international climate finance and reductions in fossil fuel subsidies.

This will be more politically difficult than diplomatic overtures and will require political will domestically.

This is most likely why Kerry’s position “will be matched” by a high-level White House climate policy coordinator who is expected to focus on the domestic side of things.

In terms of concrete climate policy, the first step in 2021 will be rejoining the Paris Climate Accord.

Biden has pledged climate neutrality by 2050, a very important step in the right direction because with the US, China and the EU now moving towards zero emissions. Biden’s pledge to take the US back into the Paris accord has boosted hopes of meeting the pact’s ambitious goals.

Implementing new policies on a national level to reverse Trump’s policy will be tough and a lot depends on whether Biden wins the Senate — which won’t be decided until January.

If Biden doesn’t win the Senate, it is possible that many of the new measures will end up in the courts.


Serajul Islam Quader is the former Bureau Chief and Chief Correspondent of Reuters in Bangladesh and is currently the Executive Editor of the American Chambers’ Journal.