US Secretary of State Kerry issues order for strong action on climate change

On March 7 US Secretary of State John Kerry ordered all US diplomats to elevate the priority given to climate change “in everything we do”. In addition to international diplomatic efforts to maker progress on climate change the memo gives some information on the direction that the Obama administration is likely to pursue in its domestic policies.

Elements of the instruction include:

  1. Lead by example through strong action at home and abroad: Making significant progress in combating climate change through domestic actions within the Department and at the federal, regional, and local level.
  2. Conclude a new international climate change agreement: Working through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to negotiate a new, ambitious international climate agreement applicable to all countries by 2015 to take effect in 2020.
  3. Implement the Global Climate Change Initiative: Undertaking a pragmatic, whole-of-government approach to speed the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future, including (1) promoting clean energy solutions; (2) slowing, halting, and reversing emissions from land use; and (3) helping the most vulnerable countries strengthen climate resilience.
  4. Enhance multilateral engagement: Helping lead efforts including the Major Economies Forum, Clean Energy Ministerial, Montreal Protocol, and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants.
  5. Expand bilateral engagement: Engaging more than 50 partner countries on clean energy, sustainable landscapes, and adaptation, including the largest greenhouse gas emitters in the developing world.
  6. Mobilize financial resources: Working to mobilize and leverage billions of dollars of funding to transform our energy economies and promote sustainable land use, as well as working to limit public incentives for high-carbon energy production and fossil fuels.
  7. Integrate climate change with other priorities: Better integrating climate solutions into cross-cutting challenges, including women’s empowerment, urbanization, conflict and national security, and our own management and operations.

The full announcement is at

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