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John Kerry: U.S. to advance climate change pact before Donald Trump takes office

By
Amy R. Connolly
Secretary of State John Kerry, standing at podiums with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, said he plans to work until the last day of the Obama administration on Jan. 20 to keep the Paris climate agreement intact. . Photo from Secretary of State/Twitter
Secretary of State John Kerry, standing at podiums with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, said he plans to work until the last day of the Obama administration on Jan. 20 to keep the Paris climate agreement intact. . Photo from Secretary of State/Twitter

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry vowed to do "everything possible" to keep intact the international climate change agreement despite threats from President-elect Donald Trump to scrap the accord.

Kerry, speaking in New Zealand before traveling to Morocco to participate in climate talks, said he will not speculate on Trump administration plans for the historic deal, which requires participating countries to limit global warming temperatures to 3.7 degree F above pre-industrial levels and a move away from fossil fuels.

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"I believe the evidence is clear, and the question now that we, this administration, are going to continue to address is how we will implement the Paris Agreement," he said. "And until January 20th when this administration is over, we intend to do everything possible to meet our responsibility to future generations to be able to address this threat to life itself on the planet."

"We will wait to see how the next administration addresses this, but I believe we're on the right track, and this is a track that the American people are committed to because the majority of the American people believe climate change is, in fact, happening and want to see us address it," he added.

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Trump, who has called global warming a hoax, derided Environmental Protection Agency policies under the Obama administration as "a disgrace." Trump has promised to back out of the Paris agreement, which has been ratified by 109 countries so far.

Trump has tapped Myron Ebell, a climate change denier, to head the EPA into the new administration.

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