In unusually frank remarks, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urges countries to treat climate change as an urgent threat despite the uncertainty he says has been created by the election of Donald Trump. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had hoped his presence at a Marrakesh conference to decide on the finer points of a historic agreement to stave off climate change would be a victory lap. Instead, he found himself having to address the uncertainty created by the election of Donald Trump, and what his presidency might mean for the U.S. commitment to the 2015 Paris agreement to cut global greenhouse gas emissions. In a speech on Wednesday, Kerry urged countries to treat the earth's changing climate as an urgent threat, citing melting glaciers, stronger storms, and record-breaking droughts. "While I can't stand here and speculate about what policies our president-elect will pursue, I will tell you this: In the time that I have spent in public life, one of the things I've learned is that some issues look a little bit different when you're actually in office compared to when you're on the campaign trail," he said. Trump has called climate change a hoax, and said he would rip up the Paris deal, halt any U.S. taxpayer funds for U.N. global warming programs, and revive the U.S. coal sector. If he follows through on his promises, he would undo the legacy of President Barack Obama, who has made climate change a policy priority and called the rising temperatures and other fallout from climate change "terrifying". The Paris accord won backing from enough countries to enter into force on Nov. 4, four days before the U.S. election, and the conference in Morocco was in part a celebration of that landmark.