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John Kerry sends clear message to climate change activists & Trump

The global community, including the United States, is more united than ever in this quest.

US Secretary of State John Kerry. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA – US Secretary of State John Kerry has sent a clear message to climate change activist and to president elect Donald Trump about his compatriots commitment to fight global warming.

He was speaking at the COP22 climate change summit designed to put meat on the bones of the Paris Agreement committing countries to do this.

There’s global concern that Trump, who maintains global warming is a Chinese hoax, will make good on his threat to withdraw the US from the Paris Accord.

Kerry told the COP22 summit reaching its climax in Marrakesh that no one can deny the remarkable progress made in fighting climate change.

Kerry says this progress was hard to imagine a few years ago.

The global community, including the United States, is more united than ever in this quest.

Kerry says they’re ready to take concrete action to back up the legal agreement reached.

BILLIONAIRE GREEN ACTIVIST STEYER VOWS TO BATTLE TRUMP

Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer, who has spent more than $140 million on fighting climate change, said on Tuesday he will spend whatever it takes to fight Trump’s pro-drilling and anti-regulation agenda.

The former hedge fund manager from California is putting together a strategy that will “engage voters and citizens to fight back” once Trump takes the White House in January, he told Reuters in an interview. However, he stressed he was not planning to fight Trump through the courts.

Instead, he would focus on “trying to present an opposite point of view and trying to get that point of view expressed, and communicated to citizens.”

Steyer’s pledge to fight Trump suggests an intensifying battle for US public opinion on global climate change, an issue that has already divided many Americans, lawmakers, and companies between those who consider it a major global threat and those who doubt its existence.

Other US environmental groups are also preparing to resist Trump’s agenda, with some vowing street protests and more established organizations that helped draft some of President Barack Obama’s environmental regulations preparing to defend them in court.

“We have always been willing to do whatever is necessary,” Steyer said, when asked how much money he was willing to spend to oppose Trump’s agenda.

Trump campaigned on a promise to drastically reduce environmental regulation and ease permitting for infrastructure, moves he said would breathe life into an oil and gas industry ailing from low prices, without harming US air and water quality.

He has also called climate change a hoax and has promised to “cancel” the Paris Climate Accord between nearly 200 nations to slow global warming, a deal he said would cost the US economy trillions of dollars and put it at a disadvantage.

While the approach has cheered the industry, it has sent shockwaves through the environmental movement, which is confronting the prospect of losing all progress it made during the Obama administration.

Steyer, who had endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, called Trump’s policies dangerous.

“Every single one of these things, whether it was getting rid of Paris or cutting back the EPA, we think are extremely dangerous to the security of every American,” Steyer said. “We think it is based on willful ignorance of the facts and flies in the face of the realities facing the world.”

ARCTIC DRILLING

Steyer’s main political vehicle, NextGen Climate, on Tuesday called on the Obama administration to defy Trump’s pro-drilling agenda by issuing an order permanently blocking all new drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Additional information by Reuters

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)