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Title [Speech] John Kerry - Remarks at the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
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Hits 822 Date 2016-12-03 11:04

Remarks at the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

SPEECH / NOVEMBER 16, 2016
Source: U.S. Department of State
*Click HERE for direct link

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John Kerry
Secretary of State
Marrakech, Morocco
November 16, 2016

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you so much, everybody. I apologize for being a few moments late. There was a fire and then there was some traffic backed up, and so here I am and here are you, and thank you for being here.

Let me begin by thanking our terrific U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Pershing. I couldn’t be luckier than to have him in this job. He was over at the Energy Department for a while. We stole him from Ernie Moniz, who is a great colleague and was gracious in my theft. And he has done a spectacular job working with all of our international partners as we begin the hard work of implementing the Paris Agreement. And I also want to thank Ambassador Jennifer Haverkamp, who, along with Jonathan and a lot of the team that I see sitting here, has done an absolutely terrific job in leading the State Department’s efforts to advance our climate goals this year. And I have to tell you ? well, let me just divert for a minute. I also want to thank Brian Deese ? I don’t know if he’s here ? but I’m grateful for President Obama’s senior advisor on climate issues and the entire intrepid U.S. delegation to the COP, whom I had a chance to meet with earlier this morning, but we’ve kind of traveled this road together.

I also thank our international partners, and particularly the executive secretary of the UNFCCC, Patricia Espinosa; the outgoing president of the COP, Minister Segolene Royal of France; and the incoming COP president, my friend and our host this week, Minister Salaheddine Mezouar, the foreign minister of Morocco. And I also want to thank our partners from Fiji, who will serve as president for the next COP, which I intend hopefully to attend as Citizen Kerry.

It’s a great pleasure for me to be able to be here in Marrakech. I’m reminded of one of the 20th century’s most outsized figures whose connection with this city is so famous ? Sir Winston Churchill. He loved to paint the landscapes here and to absorb the beauty and the culture.

And in fact, at the very height of World War II, as he and President Franklin Roosevelt and Allied leaders gathered in Casablanca to plan the strategy for the European Theater, Churchill was absolutely stunned to learn that Roosevelt had never been to this part of Morocco.

So in a move that perhaps only Winston Churchill would get away with in the middle of a global war ? world war ? Churchill convinced Roosevelt to extend his visit and drive through what was still, at the time, a country engulfed in active combat.

So after several hours on the loose, and because we’re talking about Winston Churchill, plenty of Scotch ? (laughter) ? the two leaders arrived in Marrakech in time to see the sun set on the Atlas Mountains.